Prada still on the lookout for growth in 2015, hunt to continue this year

Prada AW15 ad 6

The bad news continues for Prada but it does have some developments to crow about with its smaller Miu Miu brand continuing to power ahead.

The Italian giant released its full-year results yesterday and they didn’t make happy reading. Sales rose an anaemic 1% to €3.55bn having risen only 1% in 2014 too. You have to go back to the heady days of 2013 before you find sales managing to edge higher.

What was to blame? Not the weather for once. Instead it was a slowdown in China and the strong US dollar. It seems Chinese and US shoppers are choosing to buy their Prada (and their Miu Miu) in Europe or Japan where exchange rates are so favourable they virtually offset their travel costs.

CEO Patrizio Bertelli said that the currency issue, as well as all the other turmoil in the world today, “have made prices fluctuate widely and diverted tourist traffic in sudden and unpredictable ways.”

The result was sales up only a little to €3.06bn at its 600-plus directly operated stores and wholesale revenue that actually fell, by €88m to €444m.

But now for the better news. Licensed eyewear and fragrance sales saw a 14% hike in royalties and Miu Miu managed to rise 10%. OK, it was only a 1% rise at constant exchange rate but it was a rise nonetheless. Church’s meanwhile rose 14% in total and 7% currency-neutral.

More good news came as Japanese sales rose 11% and European sales rose 9% – boosted by tourist spending. But the flip side of that was overall Asia Pacific sales down 16% and Americas sales off by 9%.

Expects more of the same this year…

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