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School of Business | Department of Accounting | Accounting | 2013
Thesis number: 13313
The effect of recession on the operational performance of luxury goods companies - Empirical evidence from the global luxury market between 2007 and 2010
Author: Salakari, Hanna
Title: The effect of recession on the operational performance of luxury goods companies - Empirical evidence from the global luxury market between 2007 and 2010
Year: 2013  Language: eng
Department: Department of Accounting
Academic subject: Accounting
Index terms: laskentatoimi; accounting; taantuma; recession; suhdanteet; business cycles; talouskriisi; economic crisis; ylellisyystavarat; luxury goods
Pages: 106
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_13313.pdf pdf  size:4 MB (4114289)
Key terms: luxury goods; ylellisyystavarat; premium goods; financial crisis; recession; taantuma; operational performance
The purpose of the study was to examine the operational performance of luxury goods companies during the financial crisis of 2008 and the following recession. In addition, the study aims to provide insights on the relatively unstudied industry of luxury goods. The operational performance of luxury goods companies is further evaluated by comparing their key financial performance indicators against a benchmark group consisting of premium goods companies in order to find whether the luxury goods companies show outperformance during the recession. A regression analysis is conducted to gain further insight on the factors that potentially affect the results.

The sample consists of a hand-collected data set of 20 publicly traded global luxury goods companies and a peer group of 20 public premium goods companies also operating globally. For the purposes of this study, the luxury goods industry is limited to the so- called personal luxury goods or luxury consumer goods. The financial data is gathered from Thomson One Banker and the companies financial statements, covering a time period from year-end 2007 to year-end 2010, covering the full economic down cycle: slowdown, recession and rebound.

The main findings of this study support the set hypotheses regarding luxury goods companies' performance during the financial crisis and the following economic downturn. While luxury goods companies were not found to be immune to the recession, their performance was on aggregate positive despite the hostile operating environment. In addition, the positive performance was significantly better when compared to the peer group, which suggests that luxury goods companies indeed outperform their premium peers. Finally, the variables contributing to this performance were measured with sales growth, financial flexibility and initial profitability and were controlled for size. The findings of the multivariate analysis suggest that initial profitability and size are negatively associated with the performance while other variables suggest a positive association with the outperformance.
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