Luxury firm PPR has reported a 5.9% sales increase for 2006 thanks to good demand within the Gucci Group business.

PPR said group like-for-like sales had risen to EUR17.93bn (US$23.29bn) during the full year compared to EUR16.94bn the year before, marking a 4.8% increase.

Revenues outside France rose by 8.6% and accounted for 55% of the group's total sales.

Fourth-quarter revenue was up 3.2%, meanwhile, to EUR5.37bn. Comparable sales rose 2.2% in the quarter.

The company enjoyed strong sales in Japan and the US during the Christmas period after it opened a new Gucci store location in fashion hub Tokyo and recorded higher sales at Bottega Veneta.

In a statement, chairman and CEO Francois Pinault said PPR's retail businesses were doing well "in a challenging environment".

"All the luxury goods brands continued to outperform their markets, due to the talent of the designers and the brands strong positioning," Pinault said.

Gucci Group recorded a 15.7% increase in fourth-quarter revenues on a comparable basis and an 18.1% full-year increase.

As in the previous quarter, double-digit growth was recorded across all geographic regions, in particular Japan, up 11%, and in virtually all product categories.