MILAN - Benetton SpA posted 2006 sales in line with its previous guidance and forecast double-digit profit growth for the current year. Preliminary sales for the 12 months ended Dec. 31 rose 8.4 percent to 1.91 billion euros, or $2.41 billion, in line with its previous forecast for eight percent growth.

Benetton said it is on track to meet its target for 2006 net profit to come in at 6.5 percent of revenue, which works out to about 124.35 million euros, or $156.68 million. Benetton is due to release full-year 2006 results on March 16. Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at average rates for the period to which they refer.

Benetton said that orders for its spring/summer 2007 and fall/winter 2007 collections are strong, especially for accessories and shirts, prompting the company to forecast 2007 sales growth of “at least” six to eight percent.The company said that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization should climb 20 percent.

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