By  on April 13, 2007

MILAN — Aeffe SpA is getting some practice at transparency before going public later this year.

On Thursday, the company unveiled its first detailed set of earnings. Last year, net profits spiked 45.5 percent to 8 million euros, or $10.1 million. Sales rose 10 percent to 275.1 million euros, or $346.6 million. Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at average exchange rates for the period to which they refer.

Aeffe's shareholders, the Ferretti family, have also officially approved plans to float a portion of the company's shares on the Milan stock market. Pending regulatory approval, Aeffe plans to go public by the end of summer, a spokeswoman said.

"We are very satisfied with the results our group achieved during 2006, which show a significant growth of revenue in both the prêt-à-porter division and the footwear and leather goods division," Aeffe president Massimo Ferretti said in a statement.

"The [shareholders] also approved our project to list on the stock exchange, which constitutes an important step for accelerating the future growth and development of our company," he said.

Aeffe's operating profits last year rose 44.3 percent to 26.4 million euros, or $33.3 million. Ferretti said that careful cost management boosted margin growth.

Over the course of last year, Aeffe eliminated 17.6 million euros, or $21 million, of debt. As of Dec. 31, net financial debt was 115.3 million euros, or $145.3 million, compared with 132.9 million euros, or $166.1 million, in 2005.

Ready-to-wear sales rose 7.8 percent to 214.3 million euros, or $270 million. Revenues from the much smaller shoe and leather goods division grew 16.1 percent to 65.5 million euros, or $82.5 million.

Aeffe did not break down sales data by brand, but divided them into two groups. Alberta Ferretti, Moschino and Pollini together make up 85 percent of the company's sales, which works out to 233.8 million euros, or $294.6 million. Combined, their revenue rose 9.8 percent last year, Aeffe said.

The company said revenues from clothing lines it produces through licensing agreements, including Jean Paul Gaultier, rose 11 percent, but it did not provide a figure.The release made no mention of Narciso Rodriguez. Aeffe owns half of the operating company controlling the American designer's business. It has been widely reported that the relationship between the two parties is strained.

In terms of geographic markets, Aeffe said sales in Italy rose 15 percent while those in the rest of Europe grew 16.1 percent. Sales in Asia excluding Japan rose more than 5 percent.

Wholesale sales comprised 70 percent of Aeffe's business and rose 10.3 percent last year. Retail sales through Aeffe's own stores made up 25 percent of revenue and advanced 16.2 percent.

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