PPR's Gucci and Puma Q1 sales disappoint

PARIS Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:50am EDT

PARIS (Reuters) - PPR (PRTP.PA) on Thursday posted disappointing first-quarter sales, particularly for its Gucci fashion label and Puma sports brand, hit by sluggish trading in Europe and slower growth in China.

The French group, which also owns fashion houses Yves Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta, said it was not seeing any signs of improvement in China, the luxury industry's main engine of growth.

"We do not see any signs of a pick-up in China," PPR's Chief Financial Officer Jean-Marc Duplaix told journalists in a conference call.

PPR posted total first-quarter like-for-like sales up 3.1 percent, undershooting forecasts of 5-6 percent growth while sales at Gucci were up only 4 percent against expectations of a 6 percent rise.

The group's sports and lifestyle division, which includes Puma, saw first-quarter sales fall 2.5 percent while the market expected growth of 1 percent.

PPR pledged to remain vigilent on costs and improve financial results in 2013.

(Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; editing by Geert De Clercq)

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