MILAN — Solid growth in Russia and at the group’s footwear and leather goods division helped Aeffe SpA narrow its loss in the first six months of the year.

In the period ended June 30, the Italian fashion company, which produces collections for Alberta Ferretti, Moschino, Pollini, Jean Paul Gaultier, Cacharel and Cédric Charlier, posted a net loss of 4.3 million euros, or $5.5 million, compared with a net loss of 5.1 million euros, or $7.4 million, in the same period last year.

Revenues totaled 121.6 million euros, or $156.9 million, a 1.4 percent increase compared with 119.9 million euros, or $173.8 million, in the same period last year.

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

Sales of ready-to-wear totaled 96.9 million euros, or $125 million, and were down 1.3 percent, while footwear and leather goods rose 13.5 percent to 32.3 million euros, or $41.6 million.

Massimo Ferretti, executive chairman, pointed to the “significant recovery in operating profitability, which increased more than proportionally to the trend of revenues.” 

In light of the difficult economy, the group continues to be “strongly focused on growth through geographic diversification,” remarked Ferretti, adding that 20 new franchised stores, of which “more than half” will be in Asia, are scheduled to open by the end of the year.

Sales in Italy, which accounted for 41 percent of revenues, dropped 4.2 percent to 49.9 million euros, or $64.3 million. Sales in Europe, excluding Russia and Italy, declined 0.5 percent and accounted for 20.2 percent of total revenues. Russia climbed 28.1 percent, and accounted for 8.3 percent of sales. The U.S., which contributed to 7.7 percent of sales, gained 5.6 percent. Sales in Japan spiked 17.1 percent, accounting for 9.2 percent. The Rest of the World area dropped 2.1 percent and accounted for 13.6 percent of sales.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were up 63 percent to 7.1 million euros, or $9.1 million —  a performance the company attributed to improved efficiency and reduction of costs.

Operating profit totaled 300,000 euros, or $387,000, compared with an operating loss of 2.6 million euros, or $3.7 million, last year.

As of June 30, net debt stood at 101.6 million euros, or $131 million, compared with 103.5 million euros, or $150 million, at the end of June last year.

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