WWD.com/beauty-industry-news/financial/ppr-reports-54-4-pct-income-leap-1031538/

PARIS – Turmoil in global financial markets has yet to ruffle luxury’s fine feathers.

“We haven’t noticed any sign of slowdown in any of our businesses,” PPR chairman and chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault said in reporting a 54.4 percent leap in first-half net income to 303 million euros, or $402.8 million, from 196 million euros, or $241 million, a year ago. The strong growth partially resulted from the inclusion of Puma Group.

Sounding upbeat as he spoke to analysts in Paris, Pinault said sales trends in July and August were in line with PPR’s double-digit pace in the first half. Wobbles at the Redcats mail-order division, plagued by erratic weather and weak demand for childen’s wear, and at the Conforama furniture chain, which has troubles in Italy, were the main blots in the first-half figures.

Reflecting continued buoyancy at its luxury arm, Gucci Group, profits doubled at Bottega Veneta and Yves Saint Laurent narrowed its losses to 26 million euros, or $34.6 million, from 35 million euros, or $43 million, a year ago.

“The end of the year should be good,” Pinault said, citing “positive” trends for luxury goods over the summer and expressing optimism for improvements in Japan, which has been sluggish.