MILAN — The tough economy and reduced consumer spending bit into Max Mara Fashion Group srl’s bottom line last year.
According to the Italian apparel company’s balance sheet, net profit almost halved in 2008, dropping to 20.1 million euros, or $29.5 million, from 44.5 million euros, or $60.9 million, the year before. “The ongoing global financial and economic crisis began to be effective in the second half of 2008 and in particular in the last months of the year,” said chairman Ignazio Maramotti in the group’s annual report.
The company said last year’s performance was caused by “the inevitable reduction” of expenditure allotted by customers to apparel and by “fewer dividends” received by several of the group’s branches. “We believe this grave crisis will continue to have negative effects over the next few years,” said the report, adding Max Mara’s “prudent strategy attenuated the negative effects” of the crisis.
Group revenues in 2008 were relatively flat, reaching 1.25 billion euros, or $1.84 billion, compared with almost 1.26 billion euros, or $1.73 billion, the year before. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) dipped to 73.6 million euros, or $108.1 million, from 75 million euros, or $102.7 million, in 2007. Net finance income dropped to 11.4 million euros, or $16.7 million, from 24.5 million euros, or $33.5 million, in 2007. Dollar figures are converted at average exchange rates for the periods to which they refer.
The group counts 2,250 stores in 90 countries worldwide, all designed in-house. Exports account for about 45 percent of sales.
Among total investments of 99.2 million euros, or $145.8 million, last year, Max Mara reopened its flagship in Milan, which, covering 16,200 square feet, is the largest in the world. Among other major openings, the company unveiled stores in Moscow and Shanghai.
Debt stood at 115.8 million euros, or $170.2 million, at the end of 2008, compared with 85 million euros, or $116.4 million, the year before.
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