Luxury goods group PPR posted a 19% drop in first half profits to EUR281m (US$397m), ahead of the expectations of most analysts.

The owner of Gucci and a host of other high-end brands said revenues in the first six months of the year fell 3.6% to EUR9.235bn, with EBITDA also edging down 1.8% to EUR925m.

Second quarter revenues were down 4.7%, PPR added, affected by a "continued deterioration across all markets".

However, the company pointed out that the contribution from markets outside France was continuing to grow, accounting for 63.8% of revenues in the first half.

Gucci posted a 15% increase in revenues from emerging markets.

PPR pledged to use "all available means" to adapt to the uncertain economic environment in the second half of the year.

"The group is determined to intensify its action plans in order to build on its competitive advantages and strengthen all its activities," the company said.

Chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault said efforts to restructure the company and re-energise its sales should begin to bear fruit in the second half of 2009 and into 2010.

"We are doing everything we can to ensure that the group weathers the current developments and seizes opportunities as soon as the crisis subsides," he added.

"I remain confident in our capacity to further strengthen our competitive advantages and our positions in each of our activities."