By  on April 28, 2006

MILAN — Prada SpA Group, the main operating unit of Prada Holding NV, saw its preliminary 2005 profits grow at a double-digit pace.

Profit before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the 12 months ended Jan. 31 rose 20 percent to 200 million euros, or $248 million at average exchange rates. Sales rose 10 percent to 1.33 billion euros, or $1.65 billion. These figures were calculated on a constant currency and same-store basis.

A Prada spokesman confirmed the accuracy of the figures, which were published Thursday in the Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore, but he declined to comment further on them before the company releases its official 2005 results next month. Prada also confirmed that its full-year earnings before interest and taxes rose 30 percent, but the company did not disclose the actual figure.

Prada SpA controls the Prada, Miu Miu, Car Shoe and Azzedine Alaïa brands. The subsidiary was formed last year when Prada identified those labels as its core brands and transferred Jil Sander and Helmut Lang to a separate business, earmarking them for disposal. Prada sold both of those businesses earlier this year. London-based Change Capital Partners acquired Jil Sander, while Tokyo-based Link Theory Holdings Co. Ltd. bought Helmut Lang. Prices weren’t disclosed for either deal.

Together, Jil Sander and Helmut Lang caused Prada Holding NV to post a 2004 net loss of 62 million euros, or $77.5 million. Prada has denied it plans to sell its 45 percent stake in Church’s, which also lost money in 2004.

In terms of geographic markets, Prada SpA’s 2005 sales rose 10 percent in Italy and 13 percent in the rest of Europe. The company didn’t quantify growth in the United States or Asia other than the fact that growth in those regions was in the double digits.

In terms of sales growth by brand, revenues at Car Shoe more than doubled to 16.5 million euros, or $20.5 million, while those at Azzedine Alaïa gained 1 million euros to come in at 10 million euros, or $12.4 million.

Prada SpA Group’s debts totaled 818 million euros, or $993 million, at the end of January 2005. Meanwhile, ITMD Investments, which controls Prada Holding, owes a group of banks 800 million euros, or $971.1 million.

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