By  on July 8, 2009

Italian luxury suit maker Brioni reported a 3 percent drop in underlying profits in 2008 and appointed Andrea Perrone sole chief executive officer.

For the year ended Dec. 31, earnings before interest, taxes depreciation and amortization fell to 32 million euros, or $47.1 million, a company spokeswoman said. She added sales were “in line with last year” — around 206.5 million euros, or $303.8 million. Full results are slated for release today.

Dollar figures were converted at average exchange rates for the periods to which they refer.

Perrone, the grandson of co-founder Gaetano Savini, formerly shared the role of ceo with Antonella De Simone, who is the granddaughter of co-founder Nazareno Fonticoli, and Antonio Bianchini. The spokeswoman was unable to clarify the new roles of De Simone and Bianchini.

Brioni tapped BNP Paribas in November to help sell 20 to 25 percent of the company and is believed to have attracted wide interest from cash-rich operators because of its strong brand and profitable business.

The spokeswoman said Tuesday the company had been contacted by “private equity and industry,” but declined to give details. According to market speculation, these may include Mediobanca, PPR and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

Sources said Brioni’s controlling shareholders, who are descendants of the company’s founders, are seeking a 100 million euro, or $140 million at current exchange, investment to ease debts and develop the business — including buying an accessories plant — with an aim of listing on the Bourse in four or five years. Brioni bought out former ceo Umberto Angeloni for an estimated 80 million euros in 2006.

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