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Tue 30 Dec 2008 10:29 AM

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Luxury retailer to target Asian growth in 2009

PPR, owner of the Gucci Group, says next year will be a tough one amid global slowdown.

PPR, the owner of the Gucci Group, will focus on its growth on the Asia market amid the global downturn, its CEO has said.

Francois Henri-Pinault said he expected 2009 to be a tough year for the group, which owns luxury brands including YSL, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen.

“We will have a tough year in ’09. Women will buy less and they’ll concentrate their buying on the brands they trust the most,” he told Grazia Middle East.

He added that the slowdown would not be the same all over the world. “We have a very important slowdown nut not in the same way all over the world. It’s tough in Europe and America but Asia is still growing.”

“We will be very selective in investment next year but always moving upwards, upwards towards luxury. The danger would be to go down and that would be the wrong strategy for us. It’s about dreams and there is no crisis for dreams,” he told the magazine.

Shares in the luxury retailer have fallen by 63 percent this year according to Bloomberg data.

In October the firm announced its third quarter sales rose the least in more than three years as a result of the global credit crunch.

Revenue gained 2.1 percent to $6.7 billion from $6.8 billion a year earlier, according to the media estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

It was the smallest increase in the Paris-based company’s sales since 2005’s first quarter.

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