© Reuters. Festive lights decorate the Prada store on New Bond Street as shoppers do Christmas shopping in central London

MILAN (Reuters) – Annual revenues at Italian luxury group Prada rose in 2018 for the first time in four years, showing its turnaround plan is starting to bear fruit, although sales growth slowed in the second half of the year.

Full-year sales grew 6 percent at constant exchange rates to 3.142 billion euros (2.68 billion pounds) compared to a 9.4 increase in the first six months. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) declined 10 percent to 323.8 million euros.

Analysts had expected revenues of 3.17 billion euros revenues and an EBIT of 377 million euros, according to Refinitiv data.

The Milan-based but Hong-Kong listed company, jointly run by husband and wife team Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, is looking to cement a revival of its sales that began at the end of 2017 after several years of declines.

The second half of 2018 has been more challenging for the luxury industry, as the “yellow vest” protests in France, global trade tensions, a strong dollar and a more moderate demand in China depressed tourist flows.

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