Valentino Net Profits Jump 28.1% MILAN — Valentino Fashion Group SpA posted a double-digit jump in first-quarter net profits on swifter sales of its Valentino and Hugo Boss brands.
Net profits for the three months ended March 31 rose 28.1 percent, to 41.5 million euros, or $49.8 million. Sales for the period advanced 13.5 percent, to 588.5 million euros, or $706.2 million.
All euro figures have been converted from dollars at average exchange rates for the period.
Valentino Fashion Group was formed when Marzotto SpA spun off its fashion assets into a new entity and listed it on the Milan Stock Exchange last July. Since the company didn’t exist in its current form in the first quarter of last year, 2005 comparative figures are pro forma.
Hermes Reports 8.8% Sales Increase PARIS — A nose shy of its luxury peers, Hermès International said Thursday its first-quarter sales galloped ahead 11.3 percent to 361.5 million euros, or $435 million. At constant exchange rates, the increase stood at 8.8 percent.
While the results were in line with expectations, Hermès was held back by production glitches in ready-to-wear and watches, which resulted in flat sales in those categories for the three months ended March 31. A slim 4.1 percent rise for high-margin handbags and luggage also disappointed analysts. Hermès blamed the slim increase on the discontinuation of a canvas line, which was seen as a threat to its upscale image.
Bulgari First Quarter Sales Soar MILAN — Growth of the jewelry and watch categories across all geographical markets helped boost Bulgari’s first-quarter performance and drove chief executive officer Francesco Trapani to express optimism and expectations of “an 8 to 9 percent growth” for the year.
Bulgari’s net profits in the first quarter rose 19 percent, to 18.2 million euros, or $21.8 million, compared with the same period in the previous year, as sales grew 13.6 percent, to 203.9 million euros, or $244.7 million. At constant exchange rates, sales would have grown 11.9 percent. All dollar figures are at the average exchange rate.
“The results achieved through this first quarter of the year in all product categories and in all countries make me optimistic also for the forthcoming months and confirm that we are going in the right direction,” said Trapani in a statement issued on Thursday. “In accordance with the guidance given to the market at the beginning of the year, in fact, I expect for 2006 — without extraordinary events — an 8 to 9 percent increase at comparable exchange rates for turnover and net profits.” J.C. Penney Reports 22.1% First Quarter Profit Gain NEW YORK — J.C. Penney Co. Inc. on Thursday posted a 22.1 percent jump in first-quarter profits.
Earnings for the three months ended April 29 were $210 million, or 89 cents a diluted share, compared with $172 million, or 63 cents, in the same year-ago quarter. The company beat Wall Street’s consensus estimates by 1 cent. The quarter included a charge related to the sale of its Eckerd business in July 2004. Excluding the charge, the company on a continuing operations basis earned 90 cents in the quarter.
Sales were $4.2 billion versus $4.1 billion a year ago, while comps rose 1.3 percent.
Urban Outfitters Posts Decline NEW YORK -- Urban Outfitters Inc. on Thursday said that first-quarter income fell by 26 percent, but the decline was due in part to heavy markdowns of seasonal merchandise and same-store sales declines at its Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters’ nameplates.
For the three months ended April 30, income was $20.3 million, or 12 cents a diluted share, compared with $27.4 million, or 16 cents, in the same year-ago quarter. Sales rose 16.7 percent to $270 million from $231.3 million. The cost of sales, which included certain distribution and occupancy costs, increased by 29.6 percent for the period to $173.2 million from $133.7 million. The company’s inventories grew by 24 percent on a year-over-year basis to stock new stores. So far, the retailer opened five new Urban stores, and three new Anthropologie sites. The company plans to open an additional 27 to 30 stores during the balance of the fiscal year.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion