PARIS — Lifted by the economic upturn, PPR said its 2010 net income from continuing operations surged 56 percent to 932 million euros, or $1.24 billion.

Operating income for the full year improved 23.5 percent to 1.53 billion euros, or $2.03 billion.

Francois-Henri Pinault, PPR chairman and chief executive officer, said cost-control efforts implemented during the economic crisis, coupled with a sales offensive, allowed the firm to “take full advantage” of the recovery.

Total revenues climbed 9.6 percent in the fourth quarter to 4.25 billion euros, or $5.78 billion.

The French conglomerate highlighted a “stellar” quarter for its Gucci Group luxury goods division, particularly in the U.S.

In the three-month period, sales surged 39.9 percent at Bottega Veneta; 23.3 percent at Gucci; and 24 percent at Yves Saint Laurent, which swung back to profits in 2011, registering operating income of 11.6 million euros, or $15.4 million.

Dollar figures are calculated at average exchange rates for the periods in question.

PPR plans to exit its retail activities, which logged modest gains. In the fourth quarter, distance retailer Redcats reported a 0.4 percent revenue gain, while sales at books, music and electronics chain Fnac slipped 0.7 percent.

Citing a pickup in the pace of the worldwide economic recovering, PPR said it is gunning for another “robust increase” in sales and “higher financial performances” in 2011.

For complete coverage, see Friday’s WWD.

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