By  on July 26, 2007

PARIS – Boosted by solid sales at Gucci Group and the inclusion of its new Puma division, PPR on Thursday reported better than expected second quarter sales growth of 18.1 percent.

The French retail and luxury conglomerate said sales in the three months through June reached 4.79 billion euros, or $6.46 billion at average exchange, from 4.06 billion euros, or $5.47 billion, a year earlier, slightly above most analysts’ consensus expectations.

Luxury advanced 7.7 percent to 836.5 million euros, or $1.13 billion, as sales at the Gucci brand grew 3.3 percent to 486.2 million euros, $655.6 million.

Gucci revenue grew 9.8 percent before the impact of currency exchange, driven by an 18 percent improvement in ready to wear and a 21 percent gain in sales of footwear, PPR said.

Sales of Gucci’s leather goods advanced 11 percent, led by robust demand for the new Indy bag.

All the brand’s geographical zones improved, particularly North America, where sales grew 16 percent, and Asia excluding Japan, which accelerated 20 percent.

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