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Puma buyout helps to pep up profits at PPR

Profits at fashion house PPR soared 54% to EUR303 million (£204.3m) in the first half of the year, boosted by growth from its luxury goods and the acquisition of sports brand Puma.

The French retailer said like-for-like sales rose 5.6% on last year. Total sales were EUR9.24 billion (£6.26bn) for the six months to June 30.

Operating profit in the luxury goods division, which includes Gucci, grew by 55% to EUR285.8m (£193.2m). Yves Saint Laurent saw losses narrow to EUR26m (£17.6m), from EUR35m (£23.7) last year.

One retail analyst said the results had been boosted by a huge uplift in performance at the luxury division. "A lot of PPR's luxury brands are still small. Bottega Veneta, for example, is in explosive mode," he said.

However, profit at its Redcats UK home shopping arm, which includes La Redoute, Daxon, Empire Stores, and kidswear brand Vertbaudet, fell 10.7% to EUR98m (£66.2m). It blamed erratic weather for the fall.

"In sales terms the underperformance has come from Empire Stores, and in profit terms from Vertbaudet," said the analyst.

Mail order catalogue La Redoute performed well thanks to new websites and international growth.

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