MILAN — Italia Independent Group SpA continued to operate at a loss in the first six months of the year, but the initial restructuring of the company is showing the signs of improvement.In the six months ended June 30, Italia Independent reported a net loss of 3.1 million euros, compared with 2.7 million euros in the same period, but earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization grew to 35,000 euros compared with a loss of 1.7 million euros last year.Sales were basically in line, but inched down 1.7 percent to 16.1 million euros, compared with 16.3 million euros, in the first half of 2016. Eyewear accounted for the bulk of sales, totaling 13.1 million euros, up from 12.6 million euros last year, growing in particular in Italy, Spain and France.Founder and chairman Lapo Elkann struck a positive note, saying he was "confident that the new team and the newly found energy will contribute to the relaunch of Italia Independent toward increasingly more important targets." He also said he was "happy that the brand is returning to express creativity, innovation and passion," which contribute to making it "unique," allowing it "to continue to develop new important collaborations.” Previous collaborations include eyewear and watches with Hublot and men's tailor Rubinacci.Chief executive officer Giovanni Carlino said the restructuring, which includes cutting nonstrategic costs, a slimmer and more efficient structure, as well as a renewed focus on the brand's distinctive traits, is already having an impact and allows the group "to have more solid foundations on which to build our future. The process is not over, we still have many challenges in front of us that we are ready to tackle on the basis of these results and the renewed confidence in our means and in our capacity to overcome tough obstacles as the ones we have put behind us.”Carlino joined the company in November, succeeding cofounder Andrea Tessitore. Italia Independent has been going through a reorganization following a capital increase of 15 million euros, or $16.5 million, subscribed to last year by Elkann. The firm has been cutting nonstrategic expenses, increasing efficiencies, and bringing in new key figures in planning, marketing and production, as well as reviewing its distribution in markets showing more growth potential.The brand is distributed in 3,600 wholesale accounts in 60 countries.As of June 30, net debt stood at 22.1 million euros, compared with 18.3 million euros at the end of June last year.
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