PPR QUARTER SALES RISE 25%

Byline: Katherine Weisman

PARIS — Pinault-Printemps-Redoute reported Wednesday that sales for the first quarter of this year rose 25 percent to nearly $5.2 billion.
Excluding the effects of currency fluctuation, acquisitions and other considerations, sales would have increased 8.3 percent. The 25 percent gain includes the integration of Gucci Group’s fourth-quarter sales of $378.9 million. Gucci’s fiscal year ends Jan. 31.
Also, under new French accounting standards, PPR fully consolidated the sales of its credit and financial service division for the first time.
PPR cited the “rapid take-off of the group’s e-commerce initiatives” in a statement on the “outstanding growth” of the first quarter. Also highlighted were the contributions of acquisitions, strong consumer demand and favorable conditions in the home-building sector.
Starting from a lower base, e-commerce sales scored the highest rate of growth — 518.2 percent on a real basis — for the quarter. Group Internet sales totaled $29.1 million for the period. In a statement, the group noted its presence “at all points in the Internet chain, from the sale of PCs through a wide range of distribution channels to the development of e-commerce sites for all Group businesses and the deployment of portals, such as mageos.com, which help to generate traffic.”
PPR’s retail division, which includes the Printemps department store chain and the Redcats catalog group, saw real sales increase 11.2 percent to $2.2 billion. On a comparable basis, sales would have risen 8.4 percent. The gains reflected high consumer spending in France and the sales contribution of new stores and other retail concepts, among other factors, the company said.
At Printemps, first-quarter sales, on both a real and comparable basis, rose 5 percent to about $179.1 million. At the Paris flagship, sales were up 7.1 percent, including a 12 percent gain at the new Printemps de l’Homme men’s wear store and a 20.6 percent increase in accessories turnover, notably in high-end goods. Women’s wear sales grew 6.5 percent.
Redcats saw real sales rise 6.6 percent to $1.0 billion, with comparable sales ahead 4.5 percent. This division includes the Redoute catalog, France’s number-one mail-order book, and the American Brylane company, among other catalog operations. PPR said Brylane’s sales grew 13.7 percent for the period.
Sales at concept stores, including Orcanta lingerie and Made in Sport, grew 30.7 percent on a real basis to $6.3 million for the quarter. On a comparable basis, sales would have risen 33.3 percent. Revenues from financial services hit $176.6 million, ahead 11.3 percent on a real basis. On a comparable basis, sales would have risen 7.7 percent.
Sales for PPR’s business-to-business rose 19.8 percent to $2.3 billion. On a comparable basis, sales would have risen 6.1 percent.