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French fashion company SMCP's sales near pre-pandemic levels

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FILE PHOTO: A Maje label is pictured on clothes inside a Maje luxury clothing store, operated by SMCP Group, in Paris
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  • SMCP.PA

PARIS (Reuters) -French fashion company SMCP on Wednesday reported third-quarter sales were close to pre-pandemic levels, rising 8.4% thanks to brisk demand in Europe and the United States.

Recovery in Asia was weighed down by surging COVID-19 cases, but SMCP, the brands of which include Sandro and Maje, said it was confident of reaching full-year overall sales of 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion).

SMCP's third-quarter sales rose to a better than expected 271.7 million euros, from 248.4 million euros a year earlier. Investment bank Jefferies had cited consensus expectations for 266 million euros.

Under the direction of recently appointed Chief Executive Isabelle Guichot, SMCP has been refining its sprawling store network. It has been culling smaller stores while focusing expansion on fast-growing regions while shoring up its digital services. Prospects of an ownership change have boosted the retailer's shares, which have risen by more than 30% since a unit of its majority shareholder Shandgong Ruyi defaulted on a bond exchangeable for SMCP shares in September.($1 = 0.8593 euros)

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Mimosa SpencerEditing by Himani Sarkar and David Goodman)