Third quarter sales at French luxury goods group PPR have risen 21.9%, driven by strong demand for the upmarket brands in its Gucci stable and the contribution from German sportswear brand Puma which it acquired earlier this year.

PPR, whose brands include Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta and Stella McCartney, said third quarter sales rose to EUR5.2bn (US$7.6bn) from EUR4.26bn in the same period last year.

On a comparable basis, revenues rose 6.8% the company said. Revenues outside France accounted for 61% of the total, versus 56% in the third quarter of 2006.
François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer, said: "PPR turned in another set of robust performances in the third quarter despite the more challenging monetary environment and economic outlook."

PPR bought a 62.1% stake in Puma for EUR5.3bn in April, and said the brand added EUR670m to third quarter sales.

However, Puma sales slipped 0.5% on a comparable basis, affected by lower traffic in US shopping malls. In the quarter, sales at directly-operated stores posted sharp growth, PPR said, and sales in the Asia-Pacific region rose 7.1% on double-digit growth in China.

A solid trading performance at Gucci Group saw revenues up15.9% on a comparable basis to EUR1.002bn.

Sales in Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan rose by 26% and were up 18% in Europe - with these two regions accounting for 68% of Gucci Group sales. North America sales were up by 10% and Japan posted a 4% rise in revenues.

Sales of the Gucci were up 10.8% on a comparable basis, driven by ready-to-wear (up 22.3%), footwear (up 17.0%), and leather goods (up 8.8%).

Third quarter revenues at Bottega Veneta soared 48%, with double-digit growth across all regions driven by a 56% rise in Europe.

Yves Saint Laurent saw its revenues rise by 20%, driven by buoyant performances in Europe (up 31%) and North America (up 23%).
Sales at the Redcats mail order group fell 0.6% on a comparable basis to EUR958m, with strong performance at La Redoute, The Sportsman's Guide, US large-size apparel brands and Scandinavian brands offset by a slowdown at its Seniors brands, Misses in the US and Redcats UK.

The division's online sales increased by 22, accounting for 41% of total home-shopping revenues.

Redcats last week completed its purchase of US large-size women's fashion chain United Retail Group in the US, and said the transaction should generate "considerable operating synergies."

The acquisition gives the company its first national retail store base in the US and will help shore up its position in the growing women's plus size apparel market.
In the nine month period, PPR posted revenues of EUR14.4bn, up 15% on an actual basis and up 6% on a comparable basis compared to the same period in 2006.