Hong Kong–Prada SpA reported Monday that its preliminary first half sales jumped 37%, buoyed by strong sales in Asia-Pacific.
For the first six months of its fiscal year ended July 31, the parent of Prada, Miu Miu and Church brands posted sales of 1.55 billion euros (about $1.9 billion). That beat analysts’ estimates for sales of 1.5 billion euros.
The Milan-based company which went public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange last year has benefitted from its emphasis on Greater China. While the Chinese economy has slowed in recent quarters, the demand for luxurygoods remains unabated. Asia-Pacific, in fact, accounted for the biggest growth this year, offsetting the Eurozone slowdown. Prada saw sales climb 45%, followed by a 37.3% increase in Europe, a 34% increase in Japan, a 31% increase in the Americas and 21.7% in Italy.
By brand, Prada’s sales were up 40.5% and Miu Miu was up 23.6%.
The company continues its plans to expand its direct to consumer division: 28 new stores were opened in its first half, bringing the total number of its owned stores to 414.
Analysts pointed out that Patrizio Bertelli, Prada’s ceo, is hoping that his bet on Greater China pays off. If the debt crisis expands in Europe, Bertelli sees opportunity to continue expansion in China where Prada has less store penetration that many of its competitors.
“Prada remains our preferred name given its pricing power, strong branding and product initiatives,” says Candy Huang, analyst with Barclays Plc. “While selected luxurygoods reported mild slowdown in certain regions during the last quarter, Prada has not noticed any material slowdown globally.”
Huang said Prada’s sales have been helped, too, by tourists, who accounted for some 50% or more of sales in Europe and the United States. Excluding Japan, Asia contributed about 60% of Prada’s total sales.
Prada is scheduled to release its half year earnings report on Sept. 24.
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