Prada earnings up; will expand presence abroad

MILAN The Prada fashion house says it will concentrate on expanding its presence in international markets and cutting costs this year after reporting first-quarter earnings rose 13.5 percent, mostly thanks to higher sales in Asia.

The group, which comprises the Prada, Miu Miu, Church's and Car Shoe brands, reported Tuesday net income of 138 million euros ($183 million) compared with 122 million euros a year earlier.

Sales in Asia, which account for 40 percent of group revenue, rose 23 percent to 315 million euros. Prada's domestic Italian market was down, while Europe was flat and America grew by 23 percent.

Handbag sales rose nearly 30 percent, to 538 million euros, while footwear was down 12 percent to 118 million euros.

The Prada brand accounts for more than 80 percent of sales.

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