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Slowdown hits luxury market

PPR, Richemont and Coach posted a rise in fourth-quarter sales, but the luxury fashion groups admitted to feeling the pinch from the trading climate.

Sales at US handbag brand Coach rose 21.4% to US$978 million (£493m) for the 13 weeks to December 30, but growth in sales and profit for the period slowed compared with the last six months of the year.

Chairman and chief executive Lew Frankfort admitted the climate was “challenging”.

At Swiss luxury group Richemont, leather and accessories brand Alfred Dunhill reported a sales uplift of 7% to 87m (£64.5m) for the three months to December 31. Designer brand Chloé posted underlying sales growth of 9%. However, the company said demand in the US and Japanese markets had slowed.

Sales at French luxury group PPR were up 16% to 19.7 billion (£14.6bn) in the fourth quarter of 2007 on the back of strong performance from its Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Yves Saint Laurent brands.

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