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Versace Group expects double digit growth in 2014

Versace Group said on Thursday it had started 2014 on a strong footing thanks to a double-digit rise in sales from its own shops in the first quarter, following a 19 percent increase for the whole of 2013.

Total revenue at the luxury group, which may seek stock market listing in the future after the recent sale of a 20 percent stake to U.S. private equity group Blackstone, rose 17 percent last year to 479 million euros ($660 million). Core earnings rose nearly 60 percent to 71 million euros once adjusted for currency effects, it said in a statement.

Family-controlled Versace is seeking to use the 210 million euros it got from Blackstone to open new shops and build on the turnaround spearheaded by current CEO Gian Giacomo Ferraris.

The group, which already owns 137 directly-operated shops around the world, plans to boost this to 200 within three years, a move that would help it increase its margins.

Versace Young flagship store, Milan

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