MILAN — Prada’s Japanese subsidiary released its financial results for the first time, tripling its 2002 net profit as it opened five stores in the country.

Prada Japan Co. Ltd.’s net profit for the year ended Dec. 31 rose to $3.3 million from $910,340 the year before. Revenue rose more than 10 percent to $257.6 million, with the Prada and Miu Miu brands accounting for about 83 percent of sales. Dollar figures have been converted from the yen at current exchange rates.

Prada has big plans for Japan. Over the course of 2002, it opened five stores there. In March of this year, Prada cut the ribbon on a large flagship in Tokyo’s Ginza district, which the company said registered more than $429,406 in its first three days of operation and is currently generating revenue above the forecast budget.

Three other store openings in the first quarter have brought Prada’s total store count in Japan to 60 points of sale.

“Given the current market conditions in Japan, we are very satisfied with Prada Japan’s performance in 2002 and plan on increasing our share of this key market in the current year by growing our revenues and expanding the group’s presence through the ongoing development of all its brands,” said chief executive Patrizio Bertelli.

In June, Prada will open its second “Epicentre” concept store in the Aoyama area of Tokyo, patterned after its New York boutique on Broadway. The six-floor store, which features a slanted roof and an exterior made up of hundreds of glass panels, was designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron.

Japan proved to be a bright point amid a difficult year for Prada overall. As reported, Prada’s consolidated net profit for 2002 dropped 45.6 percent to $30.7 million from a pro forma 2001 result of $56.4 million. Sales for the year fell to $1.78 billion from $1.84 billion pro-forma 2001. Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at current exchange.

That pro forma figure excludes results derived from Prada’s 25.5 percent stake in Fendi, which Prada then sold to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in November 2001.

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