Samsonite Plans to Boost Japan Luggage Prices as Yen Weakens

Samsonite International Sa, the world’s largest branded-luggage maker, plans to raise prices in Japan by as much as 12 percent as a weaker yen cuts the dollar value of sales in the country.

The increase starts April 1, Ramesh Tainwala, president for Asia Pacific and Middle East, told reporters in Hong Kong today.

The luggage maker joins international companies including LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA and Tiffany & Co. in increasing prices in response to the yen’s 18 percent drop against the dollar over the past six months. The yen has depreciated as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talked down the value of the currency, promising to implement policies to stimulate the economy and have Japan’s central bank set a 2 percent inflation target.

Samsonite gained 4.6 percent, the biggest advance since Feb. 28, to close at HK$18.38 in Hong Kong. The benchmark Hang Seng Index was little changed, losing 0.2 percent.

The Louis Vuitton brand in February raised prices in Japan by the most on record.

Japan this month reported its economy returned to growth in the fourth quarter as the yen extended the drop that began when Abe’s election campaign kicked off mid-November.

Samsonite’s Japan sales rose about 27 percent to $66 million in 2012. The company expects the Japan market to expand by 20 percent to 25 percent this year, Chief Financial Officer Kyle Gendreau said.

Profit rose 71 percent from the previous year to $148.4 million in 2012, the company said today in a statement.

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