By and  on April 18, 2005

LONDON — A&G Group, parent of luxury brands Asprey and Garrard, said sales in the fiscal year ending March 31 rose 59 percent to $51 million from $32 million.

Sales figures for fiscal 2004 have been adjusted from the previously reported $31 million. Sales in the first half of fiscal 2005 ended Sept. 30, 2004, rose 74 percent year-on-year to $22 million. A&G Group reported its sales figures in dollars. It did not break out profits.

Despite reports in the U.S. of struggles at the luxury firm, the company said in a statement Friday that it remains “committed to global expansion” and plans to open 10 Asprey stores and five Garrard stores by the end of the year. Three new Asprey stores will be located in the U.K — at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 4, the new Four Seasons Hotel in Hampshire and Harrods, Knightsbridge. New stores will also open in St. Moritz, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Osaka.

Garrard has recently opened two more points of sale in Japan, at Isetan Tokyo and Daimaru Osaka, and its expansion plan will continue with the first store in Moscow opening in May, followed by Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.

“I am optimistic — and realistic,” Gianluca Brozzetti, ceo of the privately owned group told WWD. “We are in business, with bigger sales volumes than ever. In the U.S., sales are up 30 percent and our store opening program is on track.”

Brozzetti added that 60 percent of sales at A&G Group are still from jewelry, watches, silver items and pens.

However, sales of leather goods and accessories are also growing, as are those of ready-to-wear and shoes. He said Asprey’s 50 pounds, or $95, leather buckle — which allows customers to transform a scarf into a belt — has become an entry-price bestseller in New York and London.

Beginning in July, Asprey will roll out 50-ml. and 100-ml. bottles of its fragrance, Purple Water, and the brand has also begun to sell at travel retail on British Airways.

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