MILAN — Four months after it revealed plans to go private, Benetton Group said Tuesday it will delist from the Italian Stock Exchange as of May 31.
In its last public set of financial results, which refer to the first quarter of the year, the Italian apparel manufacturer and retailer noted that increased costs of raw materials, such as cotton and wool, and slow economies in the group’s main markets, such as southern Europe, hurt its bottom line. In the three-month period ended March 31, the group’s net profit dropped 48 percent to 10 million euros, or $13.1 million, from 19 million euros, or $26.6 million, in the first quarter last year.
Biagio Chiarolanza, the group’s chief executive officer for operations, foreign business units and finance, said this “unsatisfactory result” was in line with expectations. “We know that the repositioning will not be easy, and the first quarter results confirm that. Nonetheless, the process is under way and will continue with determination, even though, with the economic crisis affecting the principal markets for our products, a rapid recovery cannot be expected,” remarked Chiarolanza.
Operating profit fell 64.3 percent to 12 million euros, or $15.7 million, “impacted by a large reduction in structural costs, which was offset by a cost increase of direct sales, following the takeover of stores previously operated by third parties, and reduction in some extraordinary income,” said the company. Nonrecurring costs associated with the delisting also hit the performance.
Benetton’s parent company, Edizione Srl, said last month that it considered the result of the tender offer to buy the 25.15 percent of Benetton shares it did not already own, launched on March 5 and ended on March 30, “satisfying.” Shares were priced at 4.60 euros, or $5.92 at current exchange. Edizione now holds more than 95 percent of the group’s shares, and trading will be suspended on May 28, 29 and 30, after 26 years on the Milan Stock Exchange.
In the first quarter, the group invested 34 million euros, or $44.5 million, mainly in revamping stores, compared with 27 million euros, or $37.8 million, in the same period last year.
As of March 31, net debt stood at 687 million euros, or $900 million, compared with 534 million euros, or $747.6 million, at the end of March last year.
Looking ahead, Benetton said 2012 “started with positive results in respect of direct sales in nearly all countries,” where the group’s brands are available.
Orders for spring ended in line with expectations, with a 3.3 percent decline compared with spring 2011. Benetton expects a similar trend for the fall season.
The group said it will continue to strive to optimize costs efficiently, but, “due mainly to pressure on revenues,” it does not expect improvements in operating profit, and foresees a slight drop in net profit resulting from an increased cost of debt.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)