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Luxury industry experts predict more M&A at FT Business of Luxury Summit

FT announces that 2012 luxury summit will be hosted in Marrakech.

Lausanne: The Financial Times Business of Luxury Summit 2011 was attended by over 400 attendees, including luxury sector executives, luxury consultants, brand experts, fund managers, M&A specialists, and securities and retail analysts from around the world.

Set within the stunning surrounds of the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, the event, chaired by FT editor Lionel Barber, offered delegates an exclusive insight into current trends and global challenges shaping the luxury sector.

The summit brought together a distinguished panel of luxury industry leaders including Thierry Andretta, CEO, Lanvin; Bernd Beetz, CEO, Coty Inc; Jean-Claude Biver, CEO, Hublot SA; Gian Giacomo Ferraris, Chief Executive, Gianni Versace SpA; Isabelle Guichot, President & CEO, Balenciaga; Margareth Henriquez, President & CEO, Krug; Frederick Lukoff, President & CEO, Stella McCartney; Jim O’Neill, Chairman, Asset Management & former Chief Economist, Goldman Sachs; and Marc Puig, Chairman & CEO, Puig.

The theme, ‘What Price Luxury?’ inspired lively debate on topics including pricing consistency; balancing currencies; anti-counterfeiting policy included the macro-economic climate; and the role of the internet.

Jim O’Neill, Goldman Sachs stated that ‘the luxury goods industry is being driven by China and BRIC economies. The next few months will be very interesting to see whether they swap places with the US.’

The importance of social media as a way of engaging consumers was repeated throughout the sessions. Joseph Wan, CEO, Harvey Nichols said, “Social media is a challenge no business can ignore”.

The challenges of pricing and the importance of brand differentiation were summed up by Isabelle Guichot, President and CEO, Balenciaga who stated that ‘the combination of creativity and uniqueness justifies the price.’

Versace CEO Gian Giacomo Ferraris’s keynote concentrated on his strategy for dealing with counterfeiting and announced that ‘2011 is the year to stop counterfeiting on the internet’.

For more information and to hear key note speaker interviews please visit www.ft.com/video

For more information and for a full list of the speakers, please visit the 2011 FT Business of Luxury Summit website, www.ftbusinessofluxury.com

For photographs and updates from the summit, please go to:

Twitter (#ftluxury11)
Storify – summit day one
Storify – summit day two

Next year’s summit will take place in Marrakech, Morocco. John Ridding, CEO, Financial Times said ‘Many of the major luxury brands are diversifying into the lifestyle sector. Marrakech provides a suitably exotic and adventurous setting to bring together the leading players around this theme and to discuss the broader opportunities in the luxury industry.’

- Ends -

For further information please contact:

Emma Gilpin-Jacobs
Global Communications Director
Tel: +44 (0)20 7873 3883
Email: emma.gilpin-jacobs@ft.com

Lizzie Allen
Head of Global Events
Tel: +44 (0)20 7873 4463
Email: lizzie.allen@ft.com

Esther Kissiedu
Communications Executive
Tel: +44 (0)20 7873 3876
Email: esther.kissiedu@ft.com

About the Financial Times:

The Financial Times, one of the world’s leading business news organisations, is recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing essential news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community, the FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of 605,402 (Deloitte assured, 3 January 2011 to 3 April 2011) and a combined print and online average daily readership of 2.1 million people worldwide (PwC assured, November 2010). FT.com has over 3.4 million registered users and 224,000 paying digital subscribers. The newspaper, printed at 24 print sites across the globe, has a global print circulation of 372,076 (ABC, April 2011).

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