MILAN — Prada Group closed the year with a bang, with sales exceeding 2 billion euros, lifted by gains across all geographical markets. In the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, the Italian luxury house reported revenues of 2.04 billion euros, or $2.69 billion, up 31 percent compared with the year before. In particular, sales in Asia rose 48 percent. At the end of last month, Prada said that it planned to go ahead with an initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
“These results confirm that the retail network expansion is a winning strategy and exceeding the threshold of 2 billion [euros in] revenues is a target which now allows us to set further challenging goals,” said Patrizio Bertelli, chief executive officer of the company.
Sources said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization reached between 450 million and 500 million euros, or $594 million and $660 million, but the company did not confirm this at press time.
Sales grew 18 percent in Europe and 29 percent in the U.S. The company noted that Japan also contributed to the 48 percent spike in Asia. China and related territories are the areas that are developing at the quickest pace for the company. In particular, Prada said 2010 revenues in China, Hong Kong and Macau rose 75 percent from 2009, to 389 million euros, or $513.4 million. That represents nearly 20 percent of the group’s total turnover.
Dollar figures were converted at average exchange rates for the period to which they refer.
Last month, Bertelli told WWD the group plans to open a significant number of stores in Asia over the next three years and expects to attain relevant growth in the region. Prada currently has 14 stores in Mainland China, nine in Hong Kong and two in Macau, and this year plans to open nine stores in Mainland cities such as Harbin, Guangzhou, Changchun and Hangzhou. Another 11 stores are expected to open in 2012.
In January, Prada staged a major fashion show in Beijing and said it was going to open design studios in that city and Paris. “There are fashionable people here that you wouldn’t even find in Paris, New York or London,” Miuccia Prada told WWD last month of the burgeoning Chinese market. “They have already understood everything that they had to understand.”
Prada said retail sales in 2010 grew 44 percent from the like-for-like growth of 22 percent and from new openings.
The company has not yet communicated a time frame for the IPO or the size of the stake to be sold. Analysts believe the listing could happen as early as this spring and value the company up to $9.5 billion.
The group controls the Prada, Miu Miu, Car Shoe and Church’s labels.