The Italian fashion house Prada posted first-half sales of €938 million, down by 40 percent at constant currency rates, as 40 percent of its retail network was closed on average from February to May, reaching a peak of 70 percent in April due to coronavirus-related lockdowns. Global retail sales were down by 32 percent at constant exchange rates.

In Europe, retail revenues were down by 41 percent in local currencies to €228 million. The company enjoyed a “strong” double-digit growth rate in January and February, which was interrupted by the lockdowns. It witnessed a “very good response” to store re-openings from local consumers but the network remains affected by the lack of tourists.

In Asia-Pacific, retail revenues totaled €370 million, down by 18 percent at constant currencies. Stores have registered strong double-digit sales growth rates since April in Mainland China, while South Korea and Taiwan, which did not experience store closures, showed a consistent double-digit trend throughout the period. Thanks to those markets, the entire Asia-Pacific region reported a double-digit growth rate in June, despite Hong Kong and Macau still being negatively affected by the lack of travel flows.

In the Americas retail revenues dropped by 42 percent in local currencies to €96 million. As in Europe, the region’s strong double-digit growth rate in January and February was interrupted by lockdowns. Current trading is improving notwithstanding that the health emergency is still unresolved and some stores have not yet reopened, Prada said. The company has enjoyed sustained growth in Canada since the reopening of stores.

Retail sales in Japan decreased by 39 percent in yen to €113 million, but are recovering driven by local consumers. In the Middle East, revenues reached €28 million, down by 44 percent at constant foreign exchange rates, with Dubai still suffering from the lack of tourism but other markets in the region underpinned by local consumption.

Prada’s direct e-commerce channel, showed positive performances in all regions, and achieved a triple-digit growth rate during and after the lockdowns. Online sales are supported by continuing investment in the company’s digital platforms.

The wholesale channel fell by 71 percent to €91 million, owing to the decision to downsize the business in order to focus on the development of the retail channel and e-commerce as well as protect brand positioning.

Ebit, excluding the operating costs of stores that remained closed due to the lockdowns, was a negative €83 million in the first half. Expenses of closed stores during lockdowns stood a €112 million.

The net loss during the semester was €180 million, compared with a net profit of €155 million a year earlier.

Capital expenditure reached €49 million during the first half and the group’s net debt totalled €515 million at the end of June.

Prada’s chief executive Patrizio Bertelli expressed confidence that the company will gradually resume growing from the second half of 2020, when its store network is fully operational again.