Exports buoy French fashion industry
Paris, Feb 21 : France's exports of ready-to-wear clothing rose 3.4 percent in 2012, compared to the previous year, with market share growing in the US and Asia, while sales continued to decline domestically and across Europe, media reports said.
Spending on women's clothing fell 2.8 percent in France in 2012, posting a decline for the fifth straight year and putting the focus on exports, the business daily Les Echos said, citing industry figures.
France's garment companies, which generate revenues of nearly 5 billion euros (about $6.7 billion) annually, sell about 47 percent of their production overseas, with exports rising since 2010, French Women's Ready-to-Wear Industry Federation secretary-general Francois-Marie Grau said.
For the first time, Europe was not the top market for French fashion houses in 2012, with sales being affected by the economic slump in the region.
France's clothing exports to the US soared 28 percent, while sales to Japan were up 17.6 percent and exports to Hong Kong rose 39.6 percent in 2012, compared to the previous year.