PPR reports doubled profits, saying luxury looks good
French luxury products giant PPR reported Friday a doubling of first-half net profits, saying the outlook for its luxury markets looked good with sales accelerating around the world.
PPR, which owns such names as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, sportswear Puma and French retailers Conforama and Fnac, said that net profit in the first six months shot up by 113.3 percent from the equivalent figure last year to 403 million euros (528 million dollars).
Sales rose by 3.5 percent to 8.14 billion euros, but current operating profit surged by 20.7 percent to 708 million euros.
The figures pointed the same way as those of another French luxury goods giant, LVMH Moet Hennessy - Louis Vuitton, which has already reported a 53-percent rise in net profit to 1.1 billion euros, outstripping expectations.
And last week, another high-profile French name in the luxury and fashion business, Hermes, reported a 22.8 percent rise in sales.
PPR chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault, who built up the group, said he was pleased with what he termed "very good results ... in an economic environment that remains hesitant."
He said: "Sales growth gained further momentum in the second quarter, fueled by the success of our brands and retail concepts on the web and in international markets, where we are durably strengthening our positions."
"We have also bolstered the profitability of each of our activities in the first half," he added.
"Our prospects for the short and medium term are good. Our sales momentum will continue to bear fruit and we maintain disciplined management efforts."
PPR said that it was becoming less dependent on the economic situation in Europe. Sales outside the eurozone had risen by 8.9 percent and now accounted for 43 percent of group sales.
The group was pursuing its drive into emerging markets where sales had risen by 11.3 percent on a comparable asset base.
The company's Gucci brand had raised sales in these markets by 17.7 percent and they now accounted for slightly more than 40 percent of its sales.
© 2010 AFP