The FINANCIAL -- The Benetton Group says that revenues increasing by 9.6% compared with the same period of last year and exceeding 1,500 million euro.
Margins were also positive; EBIT grew by 21.3%, reaching 166 million euro (137 million euro in the same period of 2006), while EBITDA from ordinary operations reached 226 million euro (+19% compared with the result to September 30 last year) and 15% of sales against 13.9% for the same period of 2006.
Investments in the first nine months of this year were 164 million euro (+40% compared with the same period of 2006) of which more than 55 million euro related to production and technology.
Regarding net income, the first nine months closed with 103 million euro, up by 9% compared with net income to September 30, 2006 which was 94 million euro.
The apparel segment grew by 10.6% in the first nine months on the strength of strategies defined and implemented in the last few months for all brands, taking revenues to 1,401 million euro.
Company said, United Colors of Benetton Adult achieved positive results with the new fashion collections and with increasingly segmented offerings for each different category of consumer.
The Man collections for example, a priority for 2007, were so successful that Man line sales reached 18% of total brand sales, quickly approaching the 20% medium-term objective.
“United Colors of Benetton Children performed well. Diversification of the offer continued for all age ranges, now concentrating on the pre-natal and baby world for small children up to 5 years old. For this segment the Benetton Baby was created, a series of stores offering collections which, in addition to focusing on style, pay particular attention to functionality. 50 dedicated stores are planned to open in 2008. They will welcome consumers into an environment specially designed for this type of product, with personnel who will be specifically trained to assist new mothers.
The excellent response from the public and the network to Sisley’s 2007 collections is confirmed by the trend in orders for 2008 Spring/Summer. Brand identity is further strengthened by the increased emphasis on the glamour and fashion content in the new collections. On this basis, Group growth can be accelerated, especially internationally, in consumer segments particularly attracted by fashion, using as a lever a trendy, high quality and attractively priced product. The strategy is completed by an experienced partner-managed network which was recently enhanced by the agreement with Trent, a retail company of the Tata group, for development of the brand in India.
2007 full year growth between 8% and 10% is forecast for the Sisley brand.
In Europe, growth reached around 13%, compared with the first nine months of 2006. In the region, it is important to note that Italy grew by more than 10%.
Russia grew at a fast pace, achieving a 35% increase compared with the period to September 30, 2006 and, in general, all Eastern European and former Soviet Union countries showed significant increases.
Positive results were delivered in Asian countries. In addition to the Group’s performance in China, growth in India to September 30 increased over 50% compared with the same period in 2006. In India, there are more than 140 United Colors of Benetton stores and the first stores dedicated to Children and Undercolors have also been recently opened.
Brand success was also confirmed by recent research carried out by an independent body which showed that United Colors of Benetton was the most popular brand among young and demanding Indian consumers.
Group net revenues for the first nine months of 2007 were 1,504 million euro, up 132 million (+9.6%) compared with 1,372 million in the first nine months of 2006, driven by the apparel segment.
Apparel segment sales to third parties, in fact, amounted to 1,401 million euro, while in the first nine months of 2006 they were 1,267 million, with an increase of 134 million (10.6%).
Again in this period, the main growth factor was the strong acceleration in volume/mix, up 13.2% compared with the same period of 2006.
The increase in value of the euro had a negative impact of 14 million.
Gross operating income was 42.8% of revenues, compared with 42.2% in the first nine months of 2006. In the apparel segment in particular, gross operating income amounted to 623 million, 44.4% of revenues, compared with 44.1% in the corresponding period of 2006, influenced positively by management efficiency as well as by weakness of the dollar (impact offset by currency hedging, shown below EBIT).
The contribution margin was 539 million euro, compared with 481 million in the first nine months of 2006, and was 35.9% of revenues compared with 35.1%.
EBIT reached 166 million, compared with 137 million in the first nine months of 2006, increasing to 11.1% of revenues compared with 10.0%.
Regarding EBITDA on ordinary operations, this was 226 million euro, with a percentage of sales of 15% against 13.9% in the same period of 2006.
Net income for the period attributable to the Group was 103 million euro, compared with 94 million for the first nine months of 2006, maintaining an unchanged percentage of sales”.