By  on March 7, 2012

MILAN — Yoox Group on Wednesday reported a 9.7 percent gain in net profit to 10 million euros, or $13.9 million at average exchange, for the year ended Dec. 31.

The increase was achieved despite investments last year in new global operations, a distribution platform and technological innovation, in addition to the opening of new offices in Milan, the expansion of Yoox premises in Bologna, and the start-up of operations in China. For the first time, the U.S. became the company’s largest market last year.

In 2011, Yoox had a 35.9 percent jump in sales, which totaled 291.2 million euros, or $404.7 million.

The group’s multi-brand business, which includes yoox.com and thecorner.com, showed a 30 percent increase in revenues to 212.8 million euros, or $295.8 million, accounting for 73.1 percent of total sales. The mono-brand channel, which includes the set-up and management of online stores for designer brands from Giorgio Armani to Valentino, posted sales of 78.4 million euros, up 54.8 percent compared with the previous year, accounting for 26.9 percent of total revenues.

Yoox launched seven new mono-brand online stores in 2011, bringing the total number of online stores it operates to 30, of which seven are also active in China — and the renewal of three partnership agreements with Giorgio Armani, Valentino and Marni for another five years. Last year, the group launched stores for Y-3, Brunello Cucinelli, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dolce & Gabbana, Moncler, and,during the fourth quarter, armani.com and trussardi.com.

The Marni, Bally and Dolce & Gabbana online stores were also extended to the Chinese market. Three new partnership agreements were signed in 2011 with Pomellato andits Dodo brand to be launched in Europe, the U.S. and Japan during the course of 2012, and with Pringle of Scotland, to bow this month in Europe, the U.S. and Japan.

International markets accounted for about 80 percent of sales. For the first year in the group’s history, North America became its number one market, gaining 41.5 percent, with sales of59.7 million euros, or $83 million, accounting for 20.5 percent of sales.

Italy grew 17.1 percent compared with 2010, posting revenues of 57.7 million euros, or $80.2 million. The Rest of Europe showed a 37.5 percent jump. Japan registered a 47.6 percent gain, while other countries continued to record sustained growth, up 170.6 percent compared with the previous year.

In 2011, the group entered new geographical markets, bringing the number of countries served to over 100. To expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific region, a subsidiary was established in Hong Kong, which also serves South Korea, and, in November, Yoox launched a localized version of yoox.com, created entirely in Korean. This followed a Russian version of thecorner.com unveiled in October, with a dedicated Russian-language customer care service. Following its entry in China with the mono-brand business line at the end of 2010, in September 2011 Yoox launched thecorner.com.cn.

After the year-end, Yoox launched a new multi-brand online store, shoescribe.com, dedicated to footwear, which bowed on Wednesday. The store hinges on e-commerce, exclusive shoe-related services and editorial content. The site offers more than 100 brands ranging from Alexander Wang, Bally andGiambattista Valli to Marni, Marc Jacobs, Opening Ceremony, Proenza Schouler and Sergio Rossi.

Shoescribe.com introduces a number of value-added services specifically for shoe lovers, including a closet shoe-organizing system, supplied with every pair of shoes, and a network of selected cobblers for repairs.

Yoox shares closed up 1.10 percent to 10.11 euros, or $13.31 at current exchange rate.

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