Gucci brand boosts group results

The Gucci Group saw sales in the first quarter soar 19 percent to €846.8 million, thanks largely to “excellent salesâ€? at the Gucci brand. The brand’s sales exploded in the Asia-Pacific region, with an increase of 18.2 percent to €508.3 million in the quarter ended 31 March.

“This 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. “We are very satisfied with these figures.â€? Sales at parent company PPR rose 7.9 percent to €4.43 billion. He also said that the group’s leather goods and fashion businesses had jumped 25 percent, “outperforming 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 €37.9 million, outperforming the brand’s other product categories. Leather goods sales rose 20.2 percent to €294.3 million, while shoe sales increased 21.2 percent to €70.2 million. Meanwhile, wholesale orders surged 22 percent, representing 29 percent of total sales. Only Gucci watch sales were said to be “disappointingâ€?.

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