PARIS — Continuing softness in the U.S. and ongoing investments in Gucci Group NV contributed to an 8.1 percent decline in first-half operating income at Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, the diversified French retail group that controls 53 percent of Gucci.

PPR on Thursday reported operating income of $825.7 million for the first six months of the year versus $897.9 million for the comparable 2001 period.

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