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.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews