By  on February 15, 2010

MILAN — Hurt by slow demand in markets such as Japan and Russia, Italian jewelry firm Damiani SpA reported a net loss of 7.4 million euros, or $10.5 million, in the first nine months ending Dec. 31.

This compares with a net profit of 7.7 million euros, or $11 million, in the same period the previous year. Consolidated revenues fell 6.6 percent to 118.4 million euros, or $169.3 million, from 126.8 million euros, or $182.5 million, the year before.

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

President and chief executive officer Guido Damiani said, “The Christmas season, which just ended, conveyed a signal of trend inversion with respect to the previous quarters.” During the last three months of 2009, sales rose 2.3 percent to 62.1 million euros, or $88.8 million. “Despite the uncertainty of the global macroeconomic environment, we are satisfied with these results and we are looking at 2010 with greater optimism, comforted also by the trend of the sales of the first weeks of 2010,” said Damiani.

The executive pointed to a recovery led by the group’s retailing network, which includes Damiani and Rocca boutiques, acquired in the fall of 2008, and to the wholesale channel, which “has begun to give signals of cautious recovery.” Retail revenues in the nine months grew 48.5 percent to 28 million euros, or $40 million.

As of Dec. 31, the group had 79 stores, of which 41 are franchised.

In the first nine months, wholesale revenues dropped 16.1 percent to 90.0 million euros, or $128.7 million.

Geographically, the Italian market and the Americas performed in line with the first nine months of the previous year. Sales in Italy totaled 92.5 million euros, or $132.2 million, accounting for 78.1 percent of total revenues, and revenues in the Americas inched up 0.7 percent, totaling 6.7 million euros, or $9.5 million, accounting for 5.7 percent of sales. On the other hand, “penalized by the persistent contraction in the consumer demand,” sales in Japan showed a 20.4 percent drop, totaling 6 million euros, or $8.5 million. “A negative trend” in Russia, Ukraine and the Middle East dragged sales down 34.9 percent in the “rest of the world.”

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