MORE FROM DIOR: Christian Dior SA said Thursday net profits last year reached $700.7 million, compared with $3.3 million in 2001, while operating income jumped 31 percent to $2.24 billion. Dollar figures are converted from the euro at current exchange. Christian Dior SA, which comprises the Christian Dior fashion house and luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, noted in a statement that it benefited from lower finance charges due to a reduced debt load. The Dior results coincide with LVMH’s 2002 results announced last week. Net profits were $609.6 million, while operating profit advanced 29 percent to $2.20 billion, as reported.

PARFUMS PROFITS: Inter Parfums Inc.’s fourth quarter came out smelling like a rose. Net profits ascended 24.9 percent to $2.8 million, or 14 cents a diluted share, from $2.2 million, or 11 cents, a year ago. Sales for the three months ended Dec. 31 grew by 36 percent to $37.1 million from $27.3 million a year ago. "The sales momentum that began in the third quarter for both our mass market and prestige lines continued in the final quarter of 2002," said chairman and chief executive Jean Madar in a statement. Over the full year, income rose 15.8 percent to $9.4 million, or 47 cents a diluted share, from $8.1 million, or 41 cents, during the preceding year. Sales advanced 16.1 percent to $130.4 million from $112.2 million in 2001. This year, the New York-based firm is looking for profits to rise 17 percent to $11 million on a 15.1 percent increase in sales to $150 million. Inter Parfums also raised its quarterly cash dividend by 33.3 percent to 2 cents a share. The company owns 77 percent of Paris-based Inter Parfums SA, which is traded on the Paris Bourse, and the French firm’s results are consolidated accordingly. The American company is traded on the Nasdaq. The group plans numerous product launches this year, including summer fragrances from Celine and Christian Lacroix; a floral version of Burberry Touch that will bow in the spring, called Burberry Tender Touch, and another Burberry women’s fragrance, which is planned for fall. The next quarterly dividend is payable on April 15 to shareholders of record on March 31.

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