Hong Kong umbrellas cast shadow over Prada figures

GMT 15:48 2015 Monday ,30 March

Arab Today, arab today Hong Kong umbrellas cast shadow over Prada figures

Prada's global turnover was down
Milan - AFP

Prada suffered a 28 percent fall in net profit last year as the Italian fashion giant was hit by weaker sales of its luxury products in Asia.
Hong Kong's pro-democracy "Umbrella Revolution" protests appear to have contributed to the downward trend, although the company also emphasised that much of the decline could be explained by investment in new directly operated stores.
Global turnover was down only one percent at 3.552 billion euros but net profit for the year to the end of January fell to 451 million euros.
Good performances in Japan, the Middle East and the Americas were offset by a 5.5 percent fall in sales in the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan. The company said a significant deterioration in trading in Hong Kong and Macau in the second half of the year was the main driver of the trend.
A large area of central Hong Kong was shut down for over two months late last year by sit-in protests, reducing the number of shopping tourists from the mainland and elsewhere.
"Through the year we operated under a geopolitical and monetary environment which was more uncertain and complex than could have been envisaged," said CEO Patrizio Bertelli. "This situation has temporarily held up the group's path of growth but it will not affect our medium/long-term growth objectives."
Most luxury brands are finding the going tough in China due to a combination of slowing growth and an ongoing crackdown on conspicuous consumption by officials.
But Prada said Chinese consumers were helping to drive strong growth at its franchise stores in Asia, which are supplied by the company's wholesale operation. Wholesale accounts for around one-seventh of the group's sales with the company now focussing on expanding its own store networks.
Prada said its European sales, which contracted 1.1 percent, were hit by lower numbers of Chinese and other tourists and by weak domestic demand.
The Japanese and Americas markets both registered 7.7 percent sales increases and there was an advance of just under 10 percent in the Middle East. The latter success came despite a fall in the number of well-heeled Russians travelling to sunspots such as Dubai and Cyprus due to the woes of the domestic economy.
Bertelli said it had been a transitional year with the group expanding its network of Prada, Miu Miu and Church's Shoes stores by 54 units.
"Our balance sheet and the operating cash flow generation remain strong and enable us to confirm our investment plans in production and research, while also optimising the retail network," he said.
The results also highlighted the trend towards men being more willing to spend money on high-end fashion. Sales of Prada-branded menswear were up in every region.


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