By  on September 6, 2010

MILAN — Roberto Cavalli returned to the black in the firsthalf — the better to celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary this year.

In the six months ended June 30, the Roberto Cavalli Groupreported a net profit of 1.9 million euros, or $2.5 million, comparedwith a loss of 3.5 million euros, or $4.6 million, a year earlier.Revenues in the first six months of the year slipped 1.7 percent to 86.2million euros, or $114.6 million, from 87.7 million euros, or $116.6million, at the end of June last year.

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

Gianluca Brozzetti, chief executive officer of the group, toldWWD that both wholesale and retail sales grew in the first half,compensating for a drop in royalties from its Just Cavalli licenseeIttierre SpA, which has been in government-backed bankruptcy protectionsince February 2009. In particular, sales in directly owned storesjumped 27 percent in the first half this year. Brozzetti, who joined thecompany in September 2009, also said “careful restructuring and costcontrol” helped lift the bottom line.

Earnings before interest,taxes, depreciation and amortization totaled 12.1 million euros, or $16million, compared with 12.9 million euros,or $17.1 million, in thesame period last year.

Looking at the second half, Brozzettisaid he remains “with his feet firmly planted on the ground,” and“cautious” given the general uncertain economy, high unemployment rates,real estate troubles, and the rate at which companies are shuttingdown. However, the executive noted that “retailers have completed theirdestocking,” and said that business has picked up in the first half. Inaddition, he said marketing and advertising activities, special-editionproducts and celebrations put in motion to mark the anniversary havealready yielded an economic return and will continue to do so in thesecond half.

“We have already sold-through our pre-collectionsfor fall,” Brozzetti said.

At the end of June 2010, the group’sshort-term debt totaled 6.7 million euros, or $8.9 million, comparedwith 8.3 million euros, or $11 million, as of Dec. 31, 2009. A companyspokeswoman said the debt at the end of the first half could not becompared to the same period last year because “the parameters ofconsolidation” have changed.

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