By  on June 15, 2010

MILAN — Hurt by a sluggish performance in the Americas and in markets such as Russia and Dubai, Italian jeweler Damiani Group posted a net loss of 18.2 million euros, or $25.6 million, in the fiscal year ended March 31, compared with a loss of 4.7 million euros, or $6.6 million, in the previous year.

Revenues dropped 2.7 percent to 145.8 million euros, or $205.5 million, compared with 149.8 million euros, or $212.7 million, in the same period the year before. In the fourth quarter, however, revenues climbed 18.4 percent to 27.1 million euros, or $37.4 million, compared with the year-ago period.

Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at average exchange rates for the period to which they refer.

Chairman and chief executive officer Guido Damiani said that, despite a difficult 2009 “for the consumer goods sector, in general, and for jewelry, in particular,” the company has strengthened itself via cost cutting and other efficiencies.

Damiani said, “Although the overall macroeconomic situation remains uncertain and we believe it will take time before returning to the 2007 level,” a return to a positive performance in the last period of the fiscal year, a reduction of debt and more rationalized costs make it optimistic about the current year.

In the fiscal year, retail sales rose 39.3 percent to 35.4 million euros, or $49.9 million, as a result of strong performances at both its stores and the Rocca units, which were consolidated for 12 months in the fiscal year ended March 31, compared with only seven months in the previous fiscal year. The Rocca business was consolidated on Sept. 1, 2008.

As of March 31, the group counted 33 directly owned stores and 45 franchised boutiques.

Continued destocking affected wholesale revenues, which declined 11.2 percent to 111 million euros, or $156.5 million.

Geographically, sales in Italy grew 3.3 percent to 112.4 million euros, or $158.4 million, accounting for 77.1 percent of total revenues. Revenues in the Americas shrank 33.5 percent to 5.1 million euros, or $7.2 million, accounting for 3.5 percent of consolidated sales.

Sales in Japan declined 12.2 percent to 8.5 million euros, while sales in the rest of the world dropped 16.3 percent to 19.4 million euros, or $27.3 million, as significant markets for the company, such as Russia and Dubai, posted decreases.

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