Earnings off 97 The gucci group was momentarily out of fashion yesterday on wall street when it reported a 97 percent drop in firstquarter earnings. The results fell well below analysts' expectations and renewed concerns that the industrywide slump in sales of expensive shoes, handbags, watches and other luxury products would continue indefinitely. But gucci quickly regained investor confidence and its shares traded in new york closed up 0.61 percent, to $98.70, after CEO Domenico De Sole said sales showed Cheap Louis Vuitton Handbags UK improvement for May and June, which were not included in the firstquarter numbers that were reported yesterday. "It was the perfect storm,"De sole told the post, referring to the recently completed quarter that ended april 30.He explained that everything that could go wrong did. De sole said the war in iraq, the outbreak of sars and Louis Vuitton Outlet UK the rise of the euro against the dollar conspired to keep shoppers home. Net income was 1.2 million euros($1.4 million), Louis Vuitton m40156 compared with 35.5 million euros($41 million)A year ago.Sales fell 6.7 percent to 567.1 million euros($654 million. ) The gucci brand had the added problem of spring and summer merchandise that was out of step with consumers' tastes, de sole said. "The collection in stores was chic, but difficult to sell,"De sole said. "It was too monochromatic and too sophisticated. " Tom ford, gucci's creative chief, has addressed those problems, de sole said, by adding color and introducing new musthave handbags like the bullet, a bag with a bamboo closure that sells for $750. Unlike some other fashion companies that have been selling brands to reduce debt, gucci has been investing in some of its newer labels, including bottega veneta and yves saint laurent.