PARIS — PPR, the French retailer that owns Gucci Group, is bullish for 2006, thanks to a strong outlook for luxury.

That was the message delivered by François-Henri Pinault, the group’s chairman and chief executive, as he addressed an annual shareholders’ meeting here Tuesday.

“We are confident for 2006,” said an upbeat Pinault. “Luxury remains strong, and we are in a good position with all of our brands.”

Pinault added that the group’s retail operations — from the Printemps department stores to the FNAC music and bookseller — also should benefit from better consumer spending in Europe and France.

During the meeting, Pinault ran through the highlights of last year, trumpeted the performance of the luxury division — especially double-digit growth at the Gucci and Bottega Veneta brands — and said the remainder of the group is in fine fettle for the future.

Luxury drove PPR last year, propelling net income up 11.2 percent. The momentum carried over into the first quarter of this year, as Gucci Group sales barreled ahead 19 percent. Overall, sales gained 7.9 percent in the first three months of the year.

For complete coverage, see tomorrow’s WWD.