By  on October 5, 2005

MILAN — Giorgio Armani SpA on Tuesday reported double-digit profit growth in the first half and wholesale orders for spring 2006 are already up by at least 5 percent.

Armani released first-half figures showing a 10 percent jump in earnings before interest and taxes to 97 million euros, or $125.1 million. Revenues for the six months ended June 30 advanced 8 percent to 697 million euros, or $899.1 million. The company said sales would have grown 10 percent at constant exchange rates.

Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at average exchange rates for the period to which they refer.

"I am particularly pleased with the success we are having in Greater China ... and with the dynamic growth we are now seeing in both our accessories and home furnishings businesses, both of which have been priorities in our program of investments over the last five years," chairman Giorgio Armani said in a release.

John Hooks, the company's commercial and marketing director and president of Giorgio Armani Japan, said he was optimistic about the second half of the year and said sales continue to grow "more or less at the same rate as in the first half."

Hooks said sales were softer in the United States and Asia in the first half of September, probably due to the hurricanes in the U.S. and very hot weather in Japan. But sales recuperated in the latter half of the month, he said.

"It's coming back strongly now," said Hooks.

An Armani spokesman said spring-summer 2006 wholesale orders for Giorgio Armani are up 5 percent, while those of Emporio are up 12 percent.

As for the other lines, Armani Collezioni and Armani Jeans, orders are up by 5 and 4 four percent, respectively. Accessories orders for both Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani are advancing 10 percent. Orders at Armani Casa are up 22 percent.

The company also is touting a well-received Armani Privé couture collection, launched in Paris last January. The spokesman said two-thirds of the 34 pieces that made up the first Privé collection were sold. For the second Privé collection, shown in July, there were 60 items including daywear and cocktail dresses and the company sold about 90 percent of the pieces.

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