MILAN — Benetton Group on Thursday reported a 21.8 percent decline in net profit to 122 million euros, or $169.6 million, last year, compared with 155 million euros, or $227.8 million, in 2008.
In 2009, as the Italian clothing manufacturer focused on investments aimed at developing its network of commercial partners, strengthening service, costs and product sourcing, Benetton’s revenues fell 3.7 percent to 2.04 billion euros, or $2.8 billion, compared with 2.12 billion, or $3.12 billion, in 2008.
The company also confirmed chief executive officer Gerolamo Caccia Dominioni is expected to leave his post April 22. The board plans to then propose the appointment of Franco Furnò and Biagio Chiarolanza to succeed Caccia Dominioni, whose duties will be split. Furnò will head the commercial, product and human resources areas, while Chiarolanza will be in charge of administration, finance and control, operations and foreign business units.Prior to Benetton, Furnò worked at Gucci, Marzotto and supermarket chain Pam. Chiarolanza is a Benetton veteran, with 20 years’ experience in Italy and abroad.
During the year, the company said it increased supply chain efficiencies and reduced structural costs. The reorganization yielded cost savings of 58 million euros, or $80.6 million.
Dollar figures are converted at average exchange rates for the periods to which they refer.
The group last year invested 113 million euros, or $157 million, compared with 209 million euros, or $307.2 million, in 2008,and focused on developing its sales network mainly in Italy, Spain and France, as well as in “priority” emerging countries such as Russia, Mexico, Turkey and India. Investments in production related to manufacturing facilities in Romania, Italy and Croatia and to information technology totaled 31 million euros, or $43 million.
The company’s debt as of Dec. 31 stood at 556 million euros, or $772.8 million, compared with 689 million, or $1.01 billion, at the end of December 2008. This was achieved through a cash generation of 130 million euros, or $180 million, resulting from the company’s reduction in net working capital.
Benetton said it has negotiated a credit line of 400 million euros, or $556 million, effective from the beginning of June. This is in addition to existing credit lines of 890 million euros, or $1.23 billion.
For this year, Benetton forecast a “modest recovery in consumption” and expects an improved fall-winter season, although revenues for the first quarter are expected to be in line with the same period of 2009. The company anticipated operating profit “will be substantially stable,” thanks to strategies put in motion in 2009 and cost-cutting measures that are being launched.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast