By and  on September 12, 2007

MILAN — Tod’s SpA posted double-digit profit growth in the first half on a lower cost base and accelerating sales momentum for its handbags and shoes.

Tod’s net profit for the six months ended June 30 rose 18.5 percent to 34.8 million euros, or $42.80 million. Sales for the period rose 15.7 percent to 316.4 million euros, or $389.2 million, in line with preliminary figures released in July. Dollar figures are at the average exchange rate.

Tod’s chairman and chief executive Diego Della Valle said that the “strong success” of the Tod’s fabric Pashmy bag and the debut of newly tapped creative director Derek Lam’s first Tod’s collection for fall 2007 make him optimistic about the future. He said the company is on track to post double-digit revenue and profit growth for full year 2007.

“[The] first-half results confirm the solidity of our group’s growth and the effectiveness of our medium long term strategic business plan,” Della Valle said in a statement. “Therefore, I can confirm a sound double digit growth of both revenues and profits.”

Also on Friday, Benetton reported that a positive performance by its apparel division helped drive first-half profits up 6.5 percent to 69 million euros, or $91 million, compared to 65 million euros, or $79.3 million, in the same period last year.

Well-received clothing collections in both its directly operated and franchised stores and a push in its commercial development boosted sales of the Italian clothing manufacturer, which grew 10.2 percent to 990 million euros, or $1.3 billion, in the first six months of 2007, compared to 898 million euros, or $1 billion,in the same period last year.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the company attributed the growth mainly to a 13 percent hike in volumes compared to the first half of 2006, noting it sold a total of 74 million outfits in the first six months of the year, and that a positive product mix helped counterbalance the impact of currency conversions.

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