Italian fashion group Prada said on Wednesday that sales had recovered sharply in Asia since June after the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic triggered a 40% decline for comparable revenues in the first half of the year.
The revenue fall to €938 million at constant exchange rates in the six months to June was steeper than a 35% decrease forecast by analysts, according to Smart Estimates provided by Refinitiv.
The Milan-based, Hong Kong-listed luxury group posted a net loss of €180 million, hit by store closures and a near-absence of tourism due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Prada said it had seen double-digit sales growth in Asia since last month, and encouraging signs in other markets as movement restrictions eased. E-commerce delivered sales growth of 100% or more during and after the lockdowns, it said.
In a statement, Chief Executive Patrizio Bertelli said the group was confident that sales would return to growth in the second half of the year.
Prada said it had taken a series of cost-cutting measures during the emergency, including renegotiating rents and cancelling or postponing marketing initiatives. It also scrapped the payment of a dividend for 2019.
It said the quick reopening of its productions sites, which are mostly based in Italy, and the direct control over its supply chain had allowed it to supply stores with new seasonal clothing in time and to manage its stock effectively, without excess inventory.
The global health emergency, which first hit the key Chinese market before spreading to Europe and the United States, interrupted two years of sales recovery at Prada, the result of a revamp plan focused on boosting e-commerce and sticking to full-price sales.
The group earlier this year appointed Raf Simons as co-creative director alongside Miuccia Prada, in a move which many industry observers see as paving the way for a possible succession.
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