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Europe, Russia Lead Aeffe Sales Rise

Sales at Italian fashion group Aeffe SpA grew 10.2 percent in 2007 thanks largely to advances in Europe and Russia.

MILAN — Sales at Italian fashion group Aeffe SpA grew 10.2 percent in 2007 thanks largely to advances in Europe and Russia.

Aeffe, which operates the Alberta Ferretti, Moschino and Pollini brands, and produces collections for Jean Paul Gaultier, on Monday reported 2007 full-year sales of 293.2 million euros, or $401.9 million at average exchange rates for the period. The figure excludes revenues from a stake in the Narciso Rodriguez brand, which Aeffe sold to Liz Claiborne Inc. in May.

Aeffe’s sales in Europe were up 11.2 percent on 2006 to 182.7 million euros, or $250.5 million. In Russia, they increased 68.8 percent to 22.1 million euros, or $30.3 million, compensating for declines in Japan and the United States. Moschino continued as Aeffe’s mainstay with sales of 136.9 million euros, or $187.6 million — a 9 percent hike — while Alberta Ferretti was the best performer, leaping 19.4 percent to 63 million euros, or $86.4 million.

The company did not break down geographically sales figures by brand.

“We are extremely satisfied with these results that comply with all our objectives at the beginning of the year, despite the actual uncertainty of the global economy,” said Aeffe chairman Massimo Ferretti.

Shares in Aeffe, which listed on the Milan Stock Exchange STAR segment for small companies in July, closed down 3.2 percent Monday to 1.85 euros, or $2.70 at current exchange — less than half of their initial IPO price.

Also Monday, Aeffe said it had signed a seven-year licensing deal with Elite Group SpA for the production and distribution of eyewear for Alberta Ferretti. Elite already has a license for the Pollini brand. Alberta Ferretti’s first collection of 16 eyeglasses and six sunglasses will be unveiled at the Mido eyewear fair in Milan in May.

“The focus of the collection is on shape, material and color, but it’s quite minimal because I find that excessive primping has had its time,” the designer Alberta Ferretti said.