Kering’s white-hot Gucci brand kept up its relentless growth at the start of the year, with online sales more than doubling in the first quarter.

The Paris-based luxury group’s comparable sales grew 37 per cent over the period, according to a statement on Tuesday after markets closed. Analysts had expected a 23 per cent increase.

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After a more than 70 per cent gain in Kering’s shares over the past 12 months, investors have been watching to see how long the Italian label can maintain its rapid growth.

The latest results show that this year’s collaborations with hip artists and a runway show at Milan Fashion Week – which saw models carry props such as baby dragons, and life-sized replicas of their heads – continue to resonate with fans.

“We delivered a remarkable performance in the first quarter and are confident that our brands can outperform the market in the remainder of the year through innovation,” chief financial officer Jean-Marc Duplaix said.

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The company has benefited from surging Chinese demand for luxury goods, which has also lifted the fortunes of LVMH and other rivals.

Kering said Gucci’s online sales gains were led by the US.

Gucci’s comparable sales rose 49 per cent in the latest quarter, while Kering’s Saint Laurent and the division that includes fast-growing Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen also grew by double-digit percentages.

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