UNITED COLORS OF PROFIT: Benetton said cost-cutting and its decision to sell its money-losing sporting goods business lifted its first-quarter net profit 28.9 percent to $28.8 million from $21.9 million. Sales fell 0.7 percent to $512.2 million from $515.6 million. The company said sales from its casual-clothing business in the first three months of the year, excluding currency impact, rose 3.8 percent to 351 million euros, which at Monday’s historically high exchange rate of $1.16 per euro translated to $405.7 million. Benetton wrote down the value of its sporting goods business last year, forcing it to post a full-year loss. Benetton has sealed deals to sell all of its sports brands, including Rollerblade, Prince and Nordica.

UNITE, BRYLANE INK DEAL: UNITE and Brylane LP said Monday they had reached a three-year contract for employees at the catalog retailer’s Indianapolis distribution center. The agreement calls for a 9 percent wage increase over its term and includes a “strong benefit package” according to a joint statement from the union and the company. This comes a little more than three months after the roughly more than 700 workers at the facility voted in favor of the union. That vote followed a 15-month organizing campaign in which the union targeted Brylane and other fashion companies in which Brylane’s parent, Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, holds an ownership position.

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