By  on November 11, 2005

MILAN — Valentino Fashion Group SpA posted a 28.1 percent jump in third-quarter net profits, citing swift sales growth at its Valentino and Hugo Boss brands.

Net profit for the three months ended Sept. 30 rose to 52 million euros, or $62.9 million, while sales advanced 11 percent to 570.7 million euros, or $690.5 million. Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at average exchange rates for the period to which they refer.

The company said full-year revenue growth should be in line with that posted in the first nine months, while net profits and operating profits growth should be "proportionally higher."

Valentino Fashion Group was formed this summer when Marzotto SpA spun off its fashion assets and listed the new group on the Milan stock exchange. All 2004 comparative figures used to calculate growth at the company are pro forma figures.

Valentino FG's operating profit for the quarter rose 13 percent to 115.2 million euros, or $139.4 million.

In the nine-month period ending Sept. 30, Valentino FG said net profits rose 24.4 percent to 75.9 million euros, or $95.6 million. Sales gained 11 percent to 1.38 billion euros, or $1.74 billion. A spokesman said Hugo Boss's nine-month sales rose 12 percent to 1.06 billion euros, or $1.34 billion, while Valentino posted a net profit of 13 million euros, or $16.4 million, on a 20 percent sales increase to 156 million euros, or $196.6 million, he added.

The company said the Americas and Asia were the best-performing geographic markets in growth terms. Sales in Asia increased 31 percent over the nine-month period while revenue from the Americas advanced 11 percent. A spokesman further specified that sales in Italy increased 4 percent, while those in Germany advanced 9 percent and revenue from other European countries grew 11 percent.

Valentino FG said investments over the nine-month period increased by nearly 16 million euros, or $20.2 million, to 62.9 million euros, or $79.25 million. That sum went toward store openings, the updating of technological systems and the expansion of some Hugo Boss facilities.

The company has continued to reduce its debts. Net financial debt stood at 359 million euros, or $452.3 million, from 462 million euros, or $568.3 million, at the end of September last year.Meanwhile, Marzotto SpA, the company that retains all of the old Marzotto group's textile assets, swung into profitability for the nine-month period. One-time gains off dividends and asset sales allowed the company to post a net profit of 12.6 million euros, or $15.9 million, compared with a year-earlier loss of 5.7 million euros, or $7 million. Sales fell 6.5 percent to 208.5 million euros, or $262.7 million.

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