Prada Earnings Soar, Buoyed by Asian Demand

By Caroline Dobson
Caroline Dobson
Caroline Dobson
September 19, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015

A Prada handbag is pictured here at the Prada Fifth Avenue store in New York City, Sept. 8. The company announced yesterday that its half-year profit jumped by 74 percent. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Prada)
A Prada handbag is pictured here at the Prada Fifth Avenue store in New York City, Sept. 8. The company announced yesterday that its half-year profit jumped by 74 percent. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Prada)
Family-owned Italian fashion house Prada S.p.A. announced that its half-year profit jumped by 74 percent, due to sales growth in Asia and new store revenues.

Prada, which was the biggest initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange this year, said that net income was $245 million, or 179 million euros, during the six months ended July 31.

The company enjoyed demand from Asian consumers, as sales excluding Japan increased by 35 percent, compared to the same period last year. The company has capitalized on the increasing wealth in the region, and in June, became the first Italian company to be listed on an Asian stock market.

However, the luxury maker of the Miu Miu fashion brand did not meet expectations of raising $2.6 billion in its IPO, managing instead to raise $2.1 billion.

“We are continuing exactly what we planned in terms of investments, particularly new openings of shops,” Deputy Chairman Carlo Mazzi told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Since its listing, the price of the company’s stock has gained 4.6 percent, exceeding the benchmark Hong Kong Hang Seng Index’s 13 percent drop during the same period.

The 98-year-old Milan, Italy-based group has remained buoyant throughout the global financial crisis, boasting positive sales growth figures, illustrating consumers’ confidence and loyalty to the brand. The majority of the retail stores are company-owned, giving them more direct access and quality control over their operations.

Prada was established in 1913 by Mario Prada targeted upper society and initially only sold leather bags. Currently, there are 319 stores, which are directly operated by the international fashion house, and around 30 percent of its outlets are located in the Asia-Pacific region.

One of its chief rivals, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, is also increasing its presence in the Asia-Pacific region to take advantage of the growing demand in the region for luxury goods.