PARIS — Prada SpA said on Friday preliminary consolidated net revenues rose 4 percent to 1.82 billion euros, or $2.02 billion, in its fiscal first half of 2015 as growth in Europe and Japan compensated for continued weakness in the Asia-Pacific region.
The increase was due entirely to the good performance of the group’s own stores, which saw sales grow 8 percent at current exchange rates to 1.55 billion euros, or $1.72 billion, in the six months ended July 31. Sales in the wholesale channel fell 14 percent at current exchange rates to 248 million euros, or $274.3 million.
“Sales in the first half of 2015 reflect an economic and exchange rate landscape that remains rather volatile with the continuing weakness of important markets like Hong Kong and Macau and the uncertainty that is looming on other Asian markets,” said Patrizio Bertelli, chief executive officer of Prada.
“Our distribution structure, which has achieved an appropriate global presence, together with our awareness of the specific needs of the various markets, has enabled us to compensate for the drop in sales in Asia-Pacific thanks to growth on markets which are currently more dynamic like Europe and Japan,” he added.
The luxury slowdown has forced Prada to revamp its strategy, including putting the brakes on retail expansion and reorganizing its operations.
“We will continue to prioritize measures intended to sustain long-term growth focusing on our manufacturing tradition and innovation, as again confirmed recently by the success of our latest collections,” Bertelli said.
The Italian luxury brand, which is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, said interim consolidated results for the first half were “tentatively” scheduled to be published on Sept. 30.
According to the preliminary figures, the European market grew by 12 percent at current exchange rates and by 11 percent at constant exchange rates, thanks to increased tourist flows triggered by the weakening of the euro against the dollar and a recovering in spending by local customers.
Japan recorded rises of 12 percent at current exchange rates and 5 percent at constant exchange rates, achieving double-digit growth in the second quarter, Prada said.
It did not provide detailed figures for the Asia-Pacific region, noting that it saw “a similar negative trend as in the first quarter of the year, offset by a positive exchange rate effect.” Hong Kong and Macau continue to weigh on the performance of the area, Prada added.
Sales increased by 15 percent at current exchange rates in both the Americas and the Middle East, with the latter posting a significant improvement in the second quarter.
The Prada brand grew 5 percent at current exchange rates, as the positive impact of foreign exchange fluctuations compensated for the underperformance of the Asian market. Revenues at Miu Miu were up 19 percent at current exchange rates and 6 percent at constant exchange rates, gaining momentum in the second quarter.
Luca Solca, managing director at Exane BNP Paribas, said the figures were worse than expected.
“Surprisingly, Prada didn’t provide constant FX growth for most of the metrics,” he said in a research note. However, he added that the brand should begin to reap the rewards of the remedial actions it has launched in the second half of the year.
“We think efforts under way should (partially) bear fruit in 2H15, against easier and easier comps. All in all, we expect to hear less and less bad news from Prada,” Solca said.