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Gucci Group and Puma see sales slide in third quarter

PPR, owner of the Gucci Group and the Puma brand, saw sales fall to €13.8bn (£12.5bn) in the nine months to September 30, down 6.6% on a like-for-like basis.

In the third quarter of 2009, for the months of July to September, PPR’s sales were €4.6bn (£4.2bn), a like-for-like drop of 8% .

The fall was blamed on weak wholesale, tough exchange rates and a drop in tourism. The group’s retail business for both Gucci and Puma were reported to be strong over the third period but the strong performance was offset by a weaker performance in wholesale.

Total sales at the Gucci Group, which operates luxury labels including Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Yves Saint Laurent, were down 5.9% on a like-for-like basis in the first nine months of the year and 10% for the third quarter. The figures include both retail and wholesale sales. Emerging countries performed better than mature markets, with China up 37% and Asia Pacific up 25%. The Gucci Group ran 596 directly operated stores at the end of September 2009.

Total sales at Puma also dropped 5.9% on a comparable basis in the nine months to September and fell 9.8% in the third quarter. Puma was hit particularly badly by the difficult economic environment in the Americas where it has a lot of  the brand saw a drop of 11.5% in the quarter.

PPR’s chairman and chief executive François-Henri Pinault said: “PPR faced the convergence in the third quarter of 2009 of several unfavorable factors – a lacklustre macroeconomic environment, a high base of comparison in most of our businesses and, in luxury goods, a drop in tourism flows and a low point in wholesale activity.”

He added: “In luxury, the resilience of our network of directly operated stores underscores the strength of our brands, notably in emerging countries, where we are focusing our growth. We are pursuing our plans to adjust our organisations and energise our marketing initiatives.”

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