MILAN — More efficient operations, a cost-cutting strategy and growth in all geographical markets except the U.S. helped Aeffe SpA narrow its loss in the first half to 5.1 million euros, or $7.4 million, compared with a loss of 6.3 million euros, or $7.7 million, in the same period a year ago.

This story first appeared in the July 28, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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

In the period ended June 30, Aeffe, which produces and distributes collections for Alberta Ferretti, Moschino, Pollini, Jean Paul Gaultier and Cacharel, reported consolidated revenues of 120 million euros, or $174 million, up 16.6 percent from the same period in 2010.

Sales of ready-to-wear rose 14.3 percent, totaling 98.2 million euros, or $142.4 million, while the footwear and leather goods division gained 27.7 percent, reaching 28.5 million euros, or $41.3 million.

Chairman Massimo Ferretti said he was “very satisfied” with the performance in the first half. “The group continued also in the second quarter of the year to record a strong improvement in profitability that was supported by good revenue growth both in directly operated stores and in the wholesale channel, up by 14 percent and 18 percent, respectively, over the same period of the previous year.”

Ferretti concluded with a belief that Aeffe “will register a positive trend in the second half of the year on the basis of the excellent results achieved so far and the very good data collected from the fall-winter 2011-2012 collections.”

Sales in Italy grew 18.2 percent to 52 million euros, or $75.4 million, accounting for 43.4 percent of total revenues. Sales in Europe gained 10.9 percent. Russia showed 29.7 percent growth. Sales in the U.S., which account for 7.4 percent of revenues, dropped 5.9 percent at current exchange and 1.2 percent at constant exchange. In Japan, revenues grew 15.3 percent, contributing 8 percent of consolidated sales. The area defined as Rest of the World rose 32.4 percent to 16.9 million euros, or $24.5 million, amounting to 14 percent of consolidated sales.

The growth in sales and a more efficient structure helped improve profitability, as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) totaled 4.4 million euros, or $6.3 million, compared with losses last year of 2.3 million euros, or $2.8 million.

Aeffe also reduced its operating loss, which amounted to 2.6 million euros, or $3.7 million, compared with an operating loss of 8.9 million euros, or $11 million, last year.

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