Prada reports 15.9 pct fall in 2016 annual profit

HONG KONG, April 12 (Reuters) - Luxury fashion group Prada

SpA on Wednesday reported a 15.9 percent fall in

annual profit as global luxury spending remained soft and as it

sold more accessible products in competitive market.

In the year ended Jan. 31, Prada reported net income of

278.3 million euros ($295.03 million), down from 330.9 million

euros a year earlier. Analysts were expecting net income of 296

million euros, according to Thomson Reuters SmartEstimate data.

Prada's shares have risen more than 30 percent so far this

year, outpacing a 9 percent rise in the benchmark Index.

In February, the Italian group said saw its sales

accelerating in the past months, particularly in Greater China

and Russia, pointing to an improving outlook after sales slumped

last year.

France's LVMH, the world's biggest luxury group,

in January predicted a "relatively easy" first half of 2017, but

warned the second half could be "more difficult".

($1 = 0.9433 euros)

(Reporting by Donny Kwok and Twinnie Siu; Editing by Louise

Heavens)