PARIS -- While the fashion activities of Groupe Guy Laroche don't mesh with the other businesses of Groupe Bic, there are no immediate plans to put the fashion house on the block.

That was the word from chairman Bruno Bich at Bic's annual meeting here Tuesday.

The near-term plans for the couture house are focused on nursing it back to health, added Jean-Jacques Schmoll, a Laroche director who is running the day-to-day operations of the company. Last year, Laroche had losses of $25.6 million (144 million francs) at current exchange rates on sales of $64.4 million (362 million francs).

Currently, the businesses of Groupe Guy Laroche include the couture and ready-to-wear activities of Guy Laroche, designed by Michel Klein and Jean-Pierre Marty, respectively. Laroche owns about 30 freestanding stores around Europe.

The group also owns and distributes the Gaston Jaunet rtw collection, and owns a majority stake of the Michel Klein rtw business. These three lines are made in Laroche's own factories, where it also makes Jean-Louis Scherrer rtw, a former license that was converted to a manufacturing agreement.

Laroche works with L'OrÄal for its fragrances and counts the international bestseller Drakkar Noir for men as its top license. Last year, Laroche launched the Horizon men's scent. Fidji is Laroche's women's fragrance.

Groupe Bic acquired a majority stake in Laroche in 1979, when the fashion house needed a financial assist. Laroche was a profitable company until 1991, when it lost $5.9 million (33 million francs) on sales of $95.7 million (538 million francs).

Schmoll told WWD recently that the Laroche house is staying afloat thanks to continued financial support by Groupe Bic.

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