Andrea Guerra cannot complain about such a debut. The Italian, who has been the new CEO of the Italian fashion house Prada since January, was able to present better annual figures on Thursday than analysts had expected. In particular, the profit of the group, which also includes the Miu Miu brand, developed splendidly.

Christian Schubert

Economic correspondent for Italy and Greece.

  • Follow I follow

On the stock exchange, the price of Prada shares has risen by almost 50 percent over the past twelve months. No wonder: The gross return on sales climbed by 30 percent to 3.3 billion euros last year, with annual sales rising by a fifth to 4.2 billion euros. If the production costs are deducted from the revenues, this leaves a return on sales of 79 percent.

This allows Prada to easily cover other costs such as development, marketing, sales, financing and taxes, leaving a net profit of 465 million euros – an increase of 58 percent compared to the previous year. The new boss spoke of an "enormous growth potential" of the Italian company, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and has experienced a price gain of 20 percent on the market capitalization of almost 17 billion euros since the beginning of the year.

"We want to belong to the top group"

Guerra, a manager who has career stages at companies such as Luxottica, LVMH and Eataly, is only a man of transition. The real decision-makers at Prada continue to be 76-year-old Patrizio Bertelli and his wife Miuccia Prada, who takes care of the creative together with Belgian designer Raf Simons. Bertelli and Prada want to install their 34-year-old son Lorenzo Bertelli at the head of the family business in a few years. Today, Lorenzo is Marketing Director and responsible for sustainability issues. He is also a rally driver and wants to take part in the FIA World Rally Championship again this year. Analysts are confident that the generational change will work.

Last year, all regions and product categories performed well, and this development will continue in 2023, reported CFO Andrea Bonini. The recovery in China and the good business for the Chinese New Year are particularly reflected. Asia is Prada's largest sales market. Although the region stagnated for the entire year, business picked up at the end of 2022. In addition, sales in Europe increased by almost two-thirds.

The product range included pumps with heel straps for the ladies and low shoes made of brushed leather, and according to the company, the new jewelry collection is also well received. According to the company, the increase in sales was due to increases in sales volumes and price increases; investments are expected to grow. "The industry is becoming increasingly polarized into two groups. We want to be part of the top group," said CFO Bonini. The dividend will increase from 7 to 11 cents per share.