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.
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews