French luxury goods firm PPR Group "categorically denies" rumours about the possible sale of its Gucci Group subsidiary and purchase of the remainder of sporting goods group Puma.

The company has requested that the AMF (Autorite des Marches Financiers) open an investigation into the "unfounded rumours and diffusion of false information".

PPR's statement follows news yesterday (22 April) that its first quarter consolidated sales fell 2.6% to EUR4.8bn (US$6.2bn).

Its majority-owned Puma brand declined 3.3%, despite Americas sales rising 11.2%, while Gucci Group revenues fell 3.4% despite a 21% hike in emerging markets.