The Gucci Group saw sales in the first quarter soar 19 percent to â‚¬846.8 million, thanks largely to â€œexcellent salesâ€? at the Gucci brand. The brand’s sales exploded in the Asia-Pacific region, with an increase of 18.2 percent to â‚¬508.3 million in the quarter ended 31 March.
â€œThis quarter is definitely reflecting the good momentum of every quarter last year, the improvement of the economic environment and our growing international activities,â€? said PPR chief financial officer Jean-Francois Paulus during a conference call. â€œWe are very satisfied with these figures.â€? Sales at parent company PPR rose 7.9 percent to â‚¬4.43 billion. He also said that the group’s leather goods and fashion businesses had jumped 25 percent, â€œoutperforming key competitorsâ€?.
Gucci achieved double-digit growth in all geographic areas. Sales in the Asia-Pacific region leapt 34.5 percent, North America saw gains of 21.1 percent and Europe gained 16.7 percent.
Despite mixed reviews for designer Frida Giannini’s spring/summer 2006 collection, ready-to-wear sales jumped 24.3 percent to â‚¬37.9 million, outperforming the brand’s other product categories. Leather goods sales rose 20.2 percent to â‚¬294.3 million, while shoe sales increased 21.2 percent to â‚¬70.2 million. Meanwhile, wholesale orders surged 22 percent, representing 29 percent of total sales. Only Gucci watch sales were said to be â€œdisappointingâ€?.