French luxury brand Chanel said Tuesday that its sales jumped last year to a record just shy of $20 billion, although profits only edged higher. Half of the group’s turnover was achieved in the Asia-Pacific region, which has nevertheless posed many challenges for luxury brands in recent years.

Sales climbed by 14.6 percent to $19.7 billion last year, with double-digit growth across its fashion, fragrance and jewellery products. Meanwhile, net profits rose by three percent to $4.7 billion, a slowdown from the 14.3 percent profit growth registered in 2022.

Global Chief Executive Officer Leena Nair said Chanel had made significant investments in research and development, expanded its retail distribution network and added staff to enable further growth. The 2023 financial results "underline sustained investment in building the desirability of our brand, creating the ultimate luxury experience for our clients and supporting our people to grow and develop," she said.

Since the third quarter of last year the luxury sector has seen growth slow in the key European and US markets, while China has disappointed.

Makeup and travel retail drive beauty sales

Privately-held Chanel doesn’t provide a quarterly breakdown of its results, but chief financial officer Philippe Blondiaux said "sales increased in each of our markets as retail teams continued to nourish relationships with our local clients, while also embracing the continued return of tourist travel around the world."

Chanel saw its sales in the Asia-Pacific region climb by 17.7 percent to more than $10 billion. The rise was even higher in Europe, at 18.8 percent, to $5.6 billion. But the growth was a slower 2.6 percent to $3.9 billion in Americas.

Sales of the perfumes and beauty division were mainly driven by the makeup sector and sales at airports.