French luxury and sports brand group Kering delivered a forecast-beating rise in 2016 profits and sales on Friday, driven by the successful revival of its biggest brand, Gucci, and strong sales at fashion house Yves Saint Laurent.
The owner of the Stella McCartney and Puma brands also vowed to further boost its operating performance and cash flow generation this year despite a world business environment it said remained uncertain.
Kering chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault expressed his concern that a tax on imported goods as suggested by U.S. President Donald Trump would have a negative impact on the group's outlook.
Trump has proposed a "border adjusted" tax (BAT) in an effort to create incentives for domestic production. Should the BAT be imposed by the new administration, it could lead to a 20 percent tax on imports for U.S. corporations.
"If it happens, of course, it is not good news," warned Kering chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault in an interview with CNBC on Friday.
However, Pinault projected that in any case Kering would be able to offset the likely detrimental impact of import duties with profits from the tourist spending.
"We depend to the extent of 40 percent on tourist flows in our business. So we will have a surge of American tourists going to Europe to buy luxury (products). So we will be able to offset a significant part of the bad news of having import duties on our products," he concluded.