Prada’s Focus on China Pays Off

on April 2 2012 | in Retail | by | with No Comments

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Prada’s — which includes the main Prada label as well as Miu Miu, Church’s and Car Shoe — profits leaped to $575.3 million from $334.7 million a year ago. The added boost is thanks largely to a booming Asian market.

In the first annual report since Prada listed shares in Hong Kong last June, sales rose 25 percent to  $3.41 billion, while the brand’s profit soared by 72 percent.  Sales of high-margin leather goods increased 41% to account for 56% of Prada’s sales.

Prada’s sales in Asia, excluding Japan, now account for more than one-third of the group’s sales. The company still expects further market penetration. “Our brand awareness is big enough, but our expansion is not complete,” Prada Deputy Chairman Carlo Mazzi said in an interview. “In China, we’re present in just 10 cities. There are many important cities we are not present in and where we need to open.”

Of the 75 stores Prada opened last year, 18 are located in Asia. The brand now has 25 stores in China. In Guangzhou and Shenyang, Prada opened stores for both the Prada and Miu Miu labels. Prada also opened plenty of stores in Europe where, ironically enough, some of the biggest spenders are tourists from China.

Despite all the good news, Prada is mum about future projections. “Markets are too anxious,” Mazzi said. “The top luxury market is a little more sure than the rest of the market.”

Many luxury-goods analysts expect China to become the biggest country for luxury goods by the end of the decade, supplanting the more mature Japan.

[wsj]
photo credit: prada

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