* Yearly revenue rises to $4.4 billion from year ago
* Asia-Pacific revenue climbs 33 percent
* Same store sales growth at 14 pct
* Opened 78 new stores in fiscal 2012
HONG KONG, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Italian fashion house Prada SpA, which competes with LVMH’s Louis Vuitton and PPR’s Gucci, said on Tuesday its preliminary revenues rose 29 percent for the 12 months ended in January, driven by sales in Europe and the Asia Pacific.
The Milan-based company, famed for its luxury handbags and Miu Miu-brand dresses, is expected to announce its earnings for the fiscal year that ended on Jan. 31 in April. It said in a statement that preliminary same-store sales growth was 14 percent during the fiscal year.
Revenues rose to 3.3 billion euros ($4.4 billion). The company has a market value of $24 billion.
Prada said revenues in Europe, excluding Italy, grew 36 percent, while Asia-Pacific clocked up sales growth of 33 percent, followed by Americas with 23 percent and Japan with 14 percent. Sales in Italy rose 19 percent.
The Hong Kong-listed company opened 78 new stores during the period, taking the total number of directly operated stores to 461 as of January 2013.
European luxury goods groups have increasingly relied on affluent shoppers from Asia to drive sales, although a crackdown on conspicuous spending in China as it tackles corruption has investors worried about the impact on sales of high-end products, which are often gifted to officials.
British luxury brand Burberry Group Plc spooked investors in September when it warned that sales growth in China was far slower than expected.
Last month, however, Burberry highlighted a rebound in Chinese demand as it beat forecasts with a 9 percent rise in revenue after a particularly strong week in the run-up to Christmas.
Prada did not provide a breakdown for China sales.
Helped by wealthy tourists and overseas growth, the Italian fashion house in December reported a 30 percent rise in third-quarter net profit to 122 million euros, topping analysts’ average forecasts of 110 million and lifting hopes for holiday sales of its leather bags and colourful dresses despite recession at home.
Prada’s shares jumped gained 110 percent in 2012, outperforming a nearly 23 percent gain in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.
The stock closed down 0.6 percent on Tuesday ahead of the sales data, beating a 1 percent fall in the blue chip Hang Seng Index.