Prada Chengdu China

Italian luxury design house Prada said Thursday its net profit soared 72.2 percent in the year ending January 2012, driven by strong retail sales especially in Asia.

Net profit rose to 431.9 million euros (575.29 million dollars) compared to 250.8 million euros previously, the company told the Hong Kong stock exchange where it listed last year with a $2.46 billion initial public offering.

Consolidated net revenues grew 24.9 percent to 2.56 billion euros, boosted by a 37.6-percent jump in retail net sales to 1.96 billion euros.

Prada said its growth strategy had paid dividends, with the opening of 75 new stores across 17 countries including Russia and the United Arab Emirates for the first time.

China is the world’s fastest-growing market for luxury goods and is forecast to be the world’s top buyer of products such as cosmetics, handbags, watches, shoes and clothes by 2015, according to consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“For the third consecutive year, the Asia Pacific market was confirmed as leader both in absolute terms and for growth,” Prada said in its earnings statement.

Source: AFP