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Prada Asia sales rebound

Chinese luxury shoppers are loosening their purse strings once more, says Italian fashion brand Prada, cushioning a global sales decline.

While Prada Asia sales fell 12 per cent for calendar year 2016, the company is positive once more in its outlook for the region.  During the last quarter, sales in China had returned to rapid growth and d Declines in Hong Kong and Macau are “moderating”, the company said, releasing its sales figures overnight.

Furthermore, January showed “positive results”, aided in part by the early timing of Lunar New Year. Globally, sales grew in January, although the company has not released figures as yet.

Global sales at constant exchange rates, declined 9 per cent in 2016 to 3.18 billion euros (HK$26.26 billion). Japan was the worst-performing market, down 13 per cent, reflecting falling tourist numbers from Mainland China, and America and Asia-Pacific were each down 12 per cent. The Middle East posted a 10 per cent decline and Europe a more modest 5 per cent.

Hong Kong-listed Prada said sales in Europe showed signs of recovery in the final quarter.

Rogerio Fujimori, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said in a client note that Prada’s sales performance was “broadly in line with expectations” and improving fourth-quarter trends should be evaluated against a sector backdrop where virtually all its peers have beaten fourth-quarter sales consensus in recent weeks.

Prada said demand is outstripping supply for its new Bibliotheque and Cahier handbag ranges. It is also posting encouraging growth online, where it aims to double sales in each of the next three years.

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