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MILAN (Reuters) – Sales at Italian luxury group Prada rose 22% in the first quarter, to 1.065 billion euros ($1.17 billion), driven a rebound in China and sustained growth in Europe.

“Over the course of the first quarter, China returned to be an engine of growth, driving a solid sales rebound in Asia Pacific,” the group’s new Chief Executive Andrea Guerra said in a statement on Thursday.

“Our priority for the year remains increasing store productivity, focusing on retail execution,” he added.

In the Asia Pacific region, excluding Japan, retail revenues grew by 22% in the period. The group said China showed an acceleration towards the end of the quarter supported by an easier comparison basis.

In the Americas, where other luxury groups had already flagged a slowdown in the pace of growth, retail sales were up 5% at constant exchange rate in the first quarter. In Europe they rose 28%.

The group, which reported quarterly revenue data for the first time, added that retail sales at the Prada brand increased by 21% at constant exchange rates and at Miu Miu by 42%.

($1 = 0.9084 euros)

(Reporting by Elisa Anzolin; Editing by Keith Weir)