Prada says profits plunge

Prada says profits plunge

MILAN - Italian luxury group Prada on Thursday reported a 23.8-per cent drop in profits for its February-to-April first quarter, calling it a period of "rationalisation" hit by unfavourable exchange rates.

The fashion house also pointed to "stagnant domestic demand in some European countries" and said the pressure on its margins was "expected to ease" during the year.

The net profit outcome was to 105.3 million euros ($142.8 million).

Sales also dipped 0.6 per cent to 777.7 million euros compared to the figure for the same quarter a year earlier, Prada said.

"The trend in the forthcoming quarters will be more stable," the company said, pointing to a 24.7-per cent drop in wholesale sales that had been expected while the group's retail sales went up 2.8 per cent to 697.8 million euros.

It said it had a "very good performance" in North and South America and maintained "solid growth" in China, while Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea showed "softer trends".

In Japan, Prada said its "strong double-digit growth" slowed down sharply in April due to an increase in sales taxes.

Prada has 551 brand boutiques around the world.

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