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In Brief: Settled … Unifi to Close Irish Plant … Burani Sales Gain

<B>SETTLED:</B> Movado Group Inc. said Wednesday it reached a settlement in the lawsuit against Swiss Army Brands along with two former employees, Susanne Rechner and Todd Cozzolino. The suit was filed in November 2001 and alleged that Swiss Army...

SETTLED: Movado Group Inc. said Wednesday it reached a settlement in the lawsuit against Swiss Army Brands along with two former employees, Susanne Rechner and Todd Cozzolino. The suit was filed in November 2001 and alleged that Swiss Army Brands interfered with Movado’s business by soliciting sales employees. It was also discovered that some former employees went to work for Swiss Army Brands, spokesmen for Movado Group said. In an April 8 trial, the jury ruled in favor of Movado, awarding $3.4 million for monetary damages. Swiss Army Brands appealed, but before the scheduled hearing, both groups agreed to settle out of court. As a result of the settlement, Movado will earn a pretax gain of $1.9 million in its second quarter ending July 31. After accounting for fees and taxes associated with the settlement, the company’s second-quarter income will see a gain of approximately $835,000, or about 3 cents per diluted share.

UNIFI TO CLOSE IRISH PLANT: Fiber and yarn maker Unifi Inc. said Wednesday it plans to close its textured yarn plant in Letterkenny, Ireland, at the cost of 300 jobs. The closing will result in a restructuring charge of $20 million to $24 million. The firm said it will continue to ship U.S. and Asian yarns to the European market. Greensboro, N.C.-based Unifi said in a statement that the factory had been “unprofitable for a few years now.”

BURANI SALES GAIN: Mariella Burani Fashion Group’s sales growth slowed in the second quarter from the first three months of the year, but the company still saw a high double-digit jump in first-half sales. Burani said preliminary sales for the six months ended June 30 rose 16 percent to about 199 million euros, or $244.3 million at the average exchange rate, driven in part by strong sales in areas such as Russia, Eastern Europe and the Far East. Sales growth in the first quarter was 17.9 percent. Meanwhile, Burani said it will open 20 stores in the second half of this year, including its second Mariella Burani Details concept store dedicated to the group’s leather goods brands, Braccialini, Baldinini and Francesco Biasia.