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Prada first-half profit rises 74%

Net profit at family-controlled fashion group Prada jumped 74% in the six months to 31 July, buoyed by higher consumer demand in Asia and the opening of 29 new stores.

Net profit at family-controlled fashion group Prada jumped 74% in the six months to 31 July, buoyed by higher consumer demand in Asia and the opening of 29 new stores.

The Milan-based luxury goods maker, which include brands such as Miu Miu and Church’s, said its 2011 first-half net profit increased to €179.5 million, from €103 million during the same period in 2010.

Net revenues grew by 21% to €1.13 billion, up from €936.5 million a year earlier, the company announced on 19 September.

Prada, which listed shares in Hong Kong in June, said in statement that the Far East, particularly China, accounted for nearly half of its sales increase. Sales in the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan grew 35% to €368 million.

The group reported double-digit growth in all markets but Japan, where sales grew 8% to €107.2 million, a result Prada described as “very positive” considering the difficult trading conditions in the country, which suffered a massive earthquake and tsunami earlier this year.

Miu Miu is the group’s fastest growing brand, recording a 25% rise in sales, while leather goods is the best performing product category, posting a 35% increase in sales and accounting for over 55% of total revenues.

For the next three years, Prada said it will continue to expand its retail network, opening about 80 new stores each year, half of which will be in Asia.

Prada's strong results confirm the growth of family-owned luxury groups. In September, Richemont, which owns brands such as Cartier and Montblanc, announced a 29% rise in five-month sales from April to August, while Hermès's sales grew by 22% to €1.30 billion for the first half of 2011.

Prada traces its roots back to 1913 when Mario Prada and his brother Martino opened a small leather goods shop – Fratelli Prada – in Milan. Miuccia Prada, granddaughter of Mario, joined the group in 1970 and currently controls the business with her husband. 

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