By  on September 15, 2005

MILAN — The Prada Holding NV subsidiary that controls all of the group's brands, excluding Jil Sander and Helmut Lang, posted a 23.3 percent jump in first-half earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

Italian daily MF published a handful of Prada SpA Group's first-half figures, presumably obtained by banking sources working with Prada on the refinancing of its debts. A Prada spokesman confirmed the numbers, which cover the six months ended July 31, but the company declined further comment on the results.

Prada SpA Group, the umbrella company created last year for the Prada, Miu Miu, Azzedine Alaïa and Car Shoe brands, saw its first-half EBITDA advance 23.2 percent to 97 million euros, or $123.2 million, from 78.7 million euros, or $96 million, a year earlier. Sales of those brands increased 5.6 percent to 659.2 million euros, or $837.2 million, from 624.2 million euros, or $761.5 million. Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at the average exchange rate.

Gross profit increased 11.9 percent to 365.3 million euros, or $463.9 million. Debts at the Prada subsidiary total 605 million euros, or $768.4 million.

Those financial results indicate improving profit margins, but it is widely expected that losses at Helmut Lang and Jil Sander will hurt Prada's results on a fully consolidated level.

Jil Sander AG, which is still publicly traded in Germany, is due to report its first-half results on Friday. Prada owns 100 percent of Helmut Lang. It has halted production of Helmut Lang collections as it mulls whether to sell the brand or shutter it.

Losses and devaluations at Jil Sander and Helmut Lang pushed Prada Holding NV into the red for full-year 2004. Prada posted a loss of 62 million euros, or $76.9 million, on sales of 1.46 billion euros, or $1.81 billion.

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