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French luxury giant PPR 1st-half net profit rises 54 percent, boosted by Puma

French luxury giant PPR 1st-half net profit rises 54 percent, boosted by Puma

Luxury goods maker PPR SA, the owner of the Gucci group, said Friday that its earnings jumped 54 percent in the first half of the year following its acquisition of German sportswear maker Puma AG.
The French company said net profit for the six months until June was euro303 million (US$413 million), compared with euro196 million a year ago. PPR said in July that it recorded 11 percent growth in first-half sales to euro9.24 billion (US$12.6 billion).
Puma became part of the group in April after PPR's euro5.3 billion (US$7.18 billion) bid, a move which billionaire Chief Executive Francois-Henri Pinault said is "at the very core of our strategy."
PPR owns 62.1 percent of Puma, the world's third-biggest athletic apparel maker. Pinault said in a news conference it is "no longer a strategic priority to increase our stake."
Excluding Puma, net profit rose 47.1 percent to euro278 million (US$378.4 million).
At the fast-growing luxury goods division Gucci, profits were driven by Bottega Veneta, where operating profit more than doubled, and the Yves Saint Laurent and YSL Beaute brands, PPR said.
The company's book and CD chain FNAC and African car distributor CFAO grew at a slower clip than Gucci, where operating profit leapt 55 percent. Still, FNAC posted a 22 percent increase and CFAO grew 30 percent.
The performance of PPR's furniture chain Conforama slightly weakened, weighed down by its Italian business, Chief Financial Officer Jean Francois Palus said in a conference call. PPR is stepping up its store conversion program, which it now expects to complete by 2009, Pinault said in a news conference Friday.
Palus also said that the company's catalog division, Redcats, was profitable, in contrast to competitors in the struggling sector.
PPR said it expected "favorable prospects" for the full year.
Its shares rose 4.2 percent to euro126.94 (US$172.77) in Paris.


Updated : 2021-05-11 06:15 GMT+08:00