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PPR luxury brands fuel revenue rise though Puma disappoints

French luxury group PPR, the company behind Gucci, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen, saw revenues rise in its first quarter driven by strong sales from its luxury division.

For the three months to March 31, PPR posted €3.3bn (£2.7bn) in revenue, up 7.9% on a like-for-like basis.

The company said the strong start to the year was driven by the growth of the group’s businesses in emerging countries.

Revenue for its luxury division surged by 29.1% to €1.5bn (£1.2bn), or 18% on a like-for-like basis. Gucci’s like-for-like sales were up 12% and Yves Saint Laurent’s sales soared 40%. PPR said Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney both delivered “sparkling performances”.

The sports and lifestyle division’s sales rose 14.6% to €887m (£724m), or 3% on a like-for-like basis. Puma’s like-for-like overall sales grew by 3%. However, PPR said the brand’s performance in mature markets was “disappointing”, with sales in Western Europe down 4% and North America reporting 4% growth. Both regions were held back by sluggish sales in the footwear category.

François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer, said: “PPR delivered a highly satisfactory performance overall in the first quarter of 2012. Our luxury brands once again reported strong growth in all geographic areas, while our sport and lifestyle brands continued to move ahead.”

He added: “These performances bear witness to the group’s momentum, its successful multi-brand strategy, the remarkable geographic spread of its businesses and the strength of its business model. This reinforces our confidence in PPR’s ability to deliver another year of brisk revenue growth, combined with gains in operating and financial performance, in 2012.”

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