International News - PPR experiences 'sharp growth' across the board

French group Pinault-Printemps-Redoute reported 'sharp growth' at its retail divisions for the first quarter.

Retail sales across Europe increased ahead of the group's overall sales, by 6.1 per cent to EUR2.8 billion (£1.94 billion).

PPR posted a strong performance at furniture chain Conforama, where sales lifted by 5.9 per cent to EUR685.3 million (£476.5 million). Like-for-like sales rose by 4.2 per cent.

Chairman Serge Weinberg said: 'The growth in the retail division ... reflects the strength of our concepts, sales and marketing initiatives.' He also cited better purchasing and cost control as contributors.

At electricals and entertainment chain Fnac, sales climbed by 7.5 per cent to EUR833 million (£579 million), driven by growth outside France at 13.3 per cent. At home, Fnac sales rose by 3.3 per cent and like-for-like sales across the chain improved by 2.2 per cent.