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French luxury group Kering, Alibaba Group and its affiliate Ant Financial Services announced they have come to an agreement to cooperate in their efforts to protect intellectual property and take joint enforcement actions online and offline against infringers to provide the best consumer experience and a trusted environment.
“The new partnership represents a milestone in both parties’ investment and efforts to protect brands’ intellectual property rights”, said a statement. The companies said they have established a joint task force “with the purpose of collaborating fully, exchanging useful information, and working closely with law enforcement bodies to take appropriate action against infringers of Kering’s brands identified with Alibaba’s advanced technology capabilities”. As part of the agreement, Kering said it has agreed to dismiss the lawsuit filed against Alibaba and Alipay, an Ant Financial subsidiary, in the U.S. district court in New York.
At the end of July, Kering reported first-half consolidated revenue in 2017 of almost €7.30 billion (+28.2% as reported and +26.5% on a comparable basis). Luxury goods activities increased 29.7% as reported in the period (+28.3% comparable). Sustained growth momentum was recorded at Gucci and Saint Laurent, both in revenue (up 43.4% and 28.5%, respectively, on a comparable basis) and recurring operating margin (32% and 23%, respectively). Bottega Veneta is said to have scored a solid six-month performance with comparable revenue up 2%. The Group’s recurring operating income in the first half was €1.28 billion, up 57.1%. Kering also posted a sharp rise in operating margin (+17.5%).