French retail giant PPR saw a 2.2 per cent increase in sales during its first quarter after streamlining its operations into retailing and luxury.

First-quarter sales totalled €4.11 billion under new international accounting rules, compared to €4.02bn in the same quarter last year. Same-store sales for the group rose 5.3 per cent.

Leather goods were the strongest product category during the first quarter, with sales rising 35.1 per cent, while men's footwear also saw good business with a 15.8 per cent growth in sales. 

Sales within the Gucci unit rose 19.3 per cent on a comparable basis, pushed up by double-digit increases across all continents.

Bottega Veneta reported a massive 54.2 per cent comparable growth on a growing profile among consumers and expansion of its directly operated store network, while Yves Saint Laurent's sales grew by 1.5 per cent in the quarter.

François-Henri Pinault, PPR chairman, said: "The first-quarter 2005 sales for the PPR Group in its new configuration underscore the good performance of retail activities in a sluggish marketplace and continuing strong momentum in Luxury Goods."