After two attempts to go public, the Prada Group is launching an initial public offer (IPO) in Milan later this year or in early 2005, Prada chief executive told Italian newspaper La Repubblica. Previous attempts were retracted due to unfavourable market conditions.

Net debt for the groups is expected to fall to less than 300 million euros (360 million dollars) this year from 675 million at the end of 2003, Bertelli said. Prada Holding posted a 33 per cent increase in profit last year to 36 million EUR, despite a 13.4 per cent decline in sales, making the total sales EUR1.36 billion.

The group, which also owns minimalist brands Helmut Lang and Jil Sander, is not planning to sell any brands after having sold 55 percent of the British shoemaker Church's to the investment group Equinox last year.


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