Prada reported a dip in annual revenues in 2015 as a plunge in sales in Asia Pacific and the US failed to offset better trade in Europe as Chinese tourists took advantage of the weak euro and shopped away from home.
The sales fall at the one-time darling of the luxury goods industry underlines the sector’s wider woes as demand for costly handbags and clothes slow in China, a region which has driven the industry’s stellar growth over the decade, and a strong dollar has put off tourist shoppers in the US.
Group revenue at Prada, which includes brands Miu Miu and Church’s, fell to €3.545bn, from €3.552bn in 2014. Wholesale revenues decreased by €88m to €444m, reports Rachel Sanderson in Milan.
Sales in Asia Pacific dropped 16 per cent at constant currency rates. “The economic situation in the Chinese market remains negative, although there was some improvement in the final quarter,” Prada said in a statement on Wednesday.
Meanwhile in the US, which luxury executives had hoped would offset China’s decline, sales fell 9 per cent at constant currency “largely because a significant strengthening of the US dollar affected the inflow of tourists,” it said.
By contrast, in Europe, sales rose 5 per cent at constant currency due to a “steady stream of tourists, especially from Asia Pacific and the US,” Milan-based Prada said. Sales to Japan were up 4 per cent.
Patrizio Bertelli, chief executive and co-founder with his wife Miuccia Prada, said that “Throughout 2015 we had to deal with an economic environment characterised by extreme volatility in currency markets, as well as by a deteriorating geopolitical situation in many world regions. These two factors have made prices fluctuate widely and diverted tourist traffic in sudden and unpredictable ways”.
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