By  on October 2, 2007

MILAN — It's a $346.5 million payday for Giorgio Armani.

The designer paid himself a dividend of 100 million euros, or $126 million, and pocketed an additional 175 million euros, or $220.5 million, through a share transaction within his own company, according to Giorgio Armani SpA's 2006 annual report.

Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at average exchange rates for the period.

Specifically, Giorgio Armani SpA repurchased 500,000 treasury ordinary shares, or 5 percent of its total share capital, from Armani himself. The designer netted 175 million euros, or $220.5 million, from the deal.

An Armani spokesman said the fashion house bought the shares from the designer to reduce some of the company's excess liquidity. The transaction is a first for the group.

The fashion company released its full-year results, down to the operating profit level, in April. But the annual report also provides a net figure. Net profit for the year ended Dec. 31 actually dropped 25 percent to 131.7 million euros, or $165.9 million, due to high taxes as a result of changes in Italian tax legislation, the company said.

Armani's full-year 2006 earnings before interest and taxes rose about 19 percent to 246.5 million euros, or $310.6 million. Consolidated sales grew 9.1 percent to 1.47 billion euros, or $1.85 billion.

The report also revealed the company invested 104.5 million euros, or $131.7 million, last year in property, equipment, production streamlining and new stores. Armani also ramped up advertising last year, spending 98.7 million euros, or $124.4 million. That's 31 percent more than the firm spent in 2005.

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