By  on November 14, 2006

MILAN - Bulgari SpA saw double-digit profit growth in the third quarter of the year but Francesco Trapani warned that comps will be tougher in the last three months of the year during the critical holiday season.

Net profit rose 29.4 percent to 34.1 million euros, or $43.65 million, for the three months ended Sept. 30. Sales advanced 9.6 percent to 239 million euros, or $305.92 million, but the company said growth would have been 11.2 percent at comparable exchange rates. (Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at average exchange rates for the period to which they refer.)

Trapani reiterated the company’s previous full-year forecast for 10 percent growth in net profits and sales at comparable exchange rates, even though some analysts have more aggressive targets.

“Christmas is a very important season for our company, yes we could do better but we could also do worse. Growth of 10 percent is the best estimate we can give for the end of the year,” Trapani told WWD in a phone interview, noting that the company has a tough comparable base for the remainder of the year. The launch of the Assioma watch helped push fourth-quarter sales last year.

Trapani declined to specify advertising expenditures for the third quarter but said that much of the year’s spending will be concentrated in the latter part of the year to promote the restyled Bulgari Pour Femme fragrance with television and print ads starring Kate Moss.

Third-quarter operating profit for the three months advanced 32.8 percent to 42.3 million euros, or $54.14 million.

Burberry Profits Slide
LONDON - Burberry profits slipped six percent to 49.9 million pounds, or $95 million, from 53.1 million pounds, or $101 million in the first half ended September 30, due entirely to costs of Project Atlas, Burberry’s IT and operational overhaul program, Burberry said in a statement Tuesday.

Stripping out the costs of Project Atlas, which the company said had tracked to plan and budget during the period, operating profit would have risen 7 percent to 84.2 million pounds, or $160 million, from 78.8 million pounds, or $150 million.

Wal-Mart and Target Enjoy 3Q Growth
NEW YORK — The third quarter was very good for discounters such as Wal-Mart and Target, both of which posted earnings results on Tuesday.Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said income for the three months ended Oct. 31 rose 11.5 percent to $2.65 billion, or 63 cents a diluted share, from $2.37 billion or 57 cents, in the same year-ago quarter. Sales rose 12 percent to $83.54 billion from $74.60 billion, which included a 7.8 percent jump to $54.18 billion for Wal-Mart Stores. Same-store sales for Wal-Mart Stores rose by 1.5 percent in the quarter.

Target Corp. said that income for the quarter ended Oct. 28 was $506 million, or 59 cents a share, representing a 16.3 percent rise from $435 million, or 49 cents, last year. Revenues rose 11.2 percent to $13.57 billion from $12.21 billion, which included a 10.3 percent jump in sales to $13.16 billion and a 20.7 percent gain in credit card revenues to $414 million. Same-store sales rose 4.6 percent.

For complete coverage see tomorrow's issue of WWD.

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