On Eve of IPO, Prada Posts 31% Gain in 2010

PradaMilan—As Prada prepares to go public in the Hong Kong market, the luxury brand reported today that its 2010 sales jumped 31% to 2.045 billion euros (about $2.7 billion) boosted by increased demand in Asia.

When Prada recently announced plans to offer its first public listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange—which could bring a valuation of $8 billion to $10 billion—some Western analysts criticized the move saying Western investors would be less interested as a result.

But Prada’s reports today confirm that the company’s unconventional plans mirror its success with its often unconventional fashions. The company’s sales in Asia alone increased 48% in 2010, compared to a 29% gain in the United States and 18% in Europe.

Prada, which saw demand jump last year as many luxurygoods companies have reported, is even better situated to go public with its 2010 sales confirm Asia’s importance as well as its retail strategy. The company’s retail sales were especially strong, surging 44% last year.

China: The Fastest Growing Luxury Market

“These figures confirm how the strategy of developing our retail network is a winning one,” said Patrizio Bertelli, Prada’s ceo. “Exceeding the 2 billion revenue threshold allows us to now concentrate on further challenging new goals.”

China is the world’s fastest-growing market for luxurygoods so a successful initial public offering would make Prada the only European luxurygoods company–and the only Italian-based company—to be listed in Hong Kong.

Prada Group, which owns the Prada, Miu Miu, Church’s and Car Shoe brands, is 95% controlled by Bertelli’s family including his wife Miuccia Prada, the brand’s creative director, as well as other company executives.

Analysts have estimated that Prada could seek a valuation in Hong Kong of at least 12 times projected 2011 core earnings of more than 500 million euros, in line with the other recent valuations in the luxurygoods market.

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