Prada 9-mth net profit trebles as IPO plan looms

MILAN, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Italian fashion house Prada, which may list on the stock market next year, said on Wednesday it was confident about its immediate future after booming Asia sales helped nine-month net profit treble.

Prada
Prada - AW 2010-11 campaign

The family run company, whose trend-setter designer Miuccia Prada is known for her minimalist style, said net profit trebled to 156 million euros ($209 million) in the nine months to end-October.

"These data confirm that the retail network expansion is a winning strategy; these excellent results let us confidently look at the oncoming group's development," Chief Executive Patrizio Bertelli said in a statement.

Prada, which has to float several times in the past decade, has said it is considering a listing in 2011, with Hong Kong among the market options.

The move would help free Prada from the burden of a debt estimated at around 1 billion euros, partly a result of an acquisition spree in the 1990s.

Sales rose 31 percent to 1.38 billion euros in the nine-month period, with Europe and the United States contributing to the growth.

Sales in Asia, including recovering Japan, grew 51 percent, or 22 percent on a like-for-like basis, confirming the region's pivotal role in Prada's growth over the last quarters.

By Antonella Ciancio

($1=.7466 Euro)

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