March 9, 2018 / 1:12 PM / 11 days ago

Italy's Prada sees return to growth this year as overhaul progresses

MILAN, March 9 (Reuters) - Italian luxury goods group Prada expressed confidence on Friday it would return to grow this year as it strives to boost store sales while also investing in its online platform.

“Management, supported by the encouraging results achieved in the first months of 2018, is confident that the year to come would mark the beginning of a new sustainable long-term growth period,” Prada said in a statement.

The Milan-based group had originally said it expected to return to sales and profit growth in 2017 after being hit hard by a luxury industry slowdown.

But in September the group warned it would take longer than expected to turn the company around as it was still in the throes of renovating its retail network, focus on digital marketing and sales and refresh its product range.

Prada said pro-forma sales for last year were down 3.8 percent to 3.01 billion euros and core profits fell 7.3 percent to 588 million euros.

The group reported pro-forma results for 2017 as it shifts the end of its fiscal year to December from January, in order to align itself to standard international accounting practices. (Reporting by Giulia Segreti, editing by Valentina Za)

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