PARIS — France’s Groupe Clarins’ stock lost one-sixth of its value on the Paris Bourse since the firm warned Monday that first-half operating profits could drop 40 percent from year-ago levels.

Clarins said in a statement that its "preliminary, nonaudited, first-half 2002 operating profit shows a drop of around 40 percent versus the 2001 first-half level." It cited "the low overall level of activity, the significant underperformance of the perfume distribution and couture divisions, and an increase in the group’s overhead expenses" for the expected reduction.

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