Prada 2013 sales growth of 9 pct lags estimates
HONG KONG Feb 12 (Reuters) - Italian fashion house Prada SpA said on Wednesday that sales grew just 9 percent in the year ended Jan. 31, hurt by economic weakness in Europe and a stronger euro.
Prada, which makes luxury handbags, shoes, eye glasses and Miu Miu-branded dresses, published a preliminary sales figure of 3.59 billion euros ($4.9 billion) for 2013. Analysts on average were expecting 3.67 billion euros, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Sales in Europe grew just 5 percent. Sales in Asia and the Americas grew by 11 percent each, and sales in Japan grew by 24 percent.
Greater China, which has been a major focus for investors as a crack down on corruption and conspicuous consumption has hurt sales for many luxury goods sellers, contributed 826 million euros to Prada's fiscal 2013 revenue.
The Hong Kong-listed Prada Group opened 79 new stores last year, bringing the number of directly operated stores to 540 as of the end of January.
The figures in Wednesday's sales report are preliminary. Prada is tentatively scheduled to give a full, audited earnings report on April 2.
Prada shares closed down 1 percent at $63.65 on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. They are down 8 percent so far this year compared with a 4.4 percent year-to-date decline in the benchmark Hang Seng index.
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($1 = 0.7312 euros) (Reporting by Clare Baldwin; Editing by Kim Coghill)
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