Prada announced in a preliminary statement that its sales for the half year ended on July 31 rose by 36.5 percent to €1.55 billion, thanks to strong demand in most regions of the world – Asia in particular – and a strong performance by the Prada and Miu Miu brands. The report beat analysts' estimates for sales of €1.5 billion.

The Asia-Pacific region achieved the best performance, with revenues up by 45 percent, followed by increases of 37.3 percent in the rest of Europe, 34.2 percent in Japan and 31 percent in the Americas. These strong performance was achieved in spite of the difficult economic environment in Europe and the U.S., and signs that economic growth is beginning to slow down in such markets as China, India and Brazil.

The Prada brand showed a 40.5 percent increase in revenues in the half year compared with the year-ago period. Miu Miu registered a 23.6 percent increase.

The group has been investing heavily in the expansion of the Miu Miu label, with the opening of new directly owned stores, both in high potential markets as well as mature markets that were not yet entirely penetrated. In the first half, the company inaugurated its first Miu Miu boutique in Brazil, at the JK Iguatemi Mall in São Paulo; its first boutique in Mexico, at the Santa Fe Saks Fifth Avenue; its first flagship store in Casablanca, Morocco; and new shops in Taipei, Taiwan, as well as at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. Nearly 40 percent of the store openings planned for 2012 are expected to be Miu Miu units.

The retail channel generated 80 percent of the group's consolidated sales, with the retail turnover up by 47.2 percent to €1.23 billion. Sales in the wholesale channel were up by 4.8 percent.

The Milan-based luxury group, which listed in Hong Kong last year, opened 28 new stores during the first half of 2012, bringing the total number of directly operated stores to 414, of which 263 are Prada banners, 102 are Miu Miu units, 43 are Church's and six are Car Shoe. The directly operated stores recorded sales growth of 19 percent on a same-store basis in the first half.

After 75 openings in 2011, the group plans to open an average of 80 new units a year in both 2012 and 2013. About half of the openings in 2012 should focus on China, other Asian countries, the Middle East, Brazil and Morocco.

Prada's shares have gained more than 50 percent so far this year. Before the latest revenue announcement, the stock closed 2.5 percent higher at 53.65 Hong Kong dollars, or $6.89 at current exchange, on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The company is scheduled to release its half-year earnings report on Sept. 24.