MILAN — Italy's Benetton SpA said Tuesday that greater volumes, a broader and more segmented product mix and ongoing growth in new geographical markets, especially Russia and India, fueled growth in the first nine months of the year.

Net profit for the nine months ended Sept. 30 grew 9 percent to 103 million euros, or $138 million, while sales gained 9.6 percent to 1.5 billion euros, or $2 billion.

Benetton said the sales figure could have been higher by 14 million euros, or nearly $19 million, had the value of the euro stayed constant. Dollar figures are at the average exchange rate.

Earnings before interest and taxes increased 21.3 percent to 166 million euros, or $222 million.

Benetton confirmed its full-year 2007 financial targets, stating that sales will rise about 9 percent while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization will grow more than 20 percent.

The company said investments were up 40 percent to 164 million euros, or nearly $220 million, of which more than 55 million euros, or $74 million, were dedicated to industrial and technological development.

As part of its ongoing strategy to meet the demands of different consumer groups, Benetton said it plans to roll out 50 new sales points next year for the new Benetton Baby brand, offering products for prenatal mothers, babies and toddlers under five.

Encouraged by the performance of Sisley this year, Benetton said it plans to accelerate the growth of the brand, especially abroad. To that end, the company has signed an agreement with Trent, the retail arm of the Tata Group, to develop Sisley in India.

Benetton is also looking to expand and revamp its Playlife brand and open new stores around the world, particularly in Eastern Europe and Russia.

While apparel accounted for 1.4 billion euros, or $1.9 billion, of nine-month sales, Benetton said it had earmarked accessories as a driver of future growth. The company said the response to its accessories-only pilot store in Rome, as well as accessories corners in other Benetton stores, has convinced it to push the concept with more stores and a wider product range.

Geographically, Benetton specified that sales in Europe, its biggest market, were up 13 percent. The company noted that growth was even swifter in certain emerging markets like Russia and India. Specifically, sales in Russia grew 35 percent, while those in India jumped 50 percent.

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