MILAN — Despite sluggish sales in the U.S. and Japan, Aeffe SpA showed growth at all its main brands and reported a 4.6 percent rise in net profits to 12.7 million euros, or $19.3 million, in the first nine months of 2008.

This story first appeared in the November 17, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Sales grew 1.2 percent to 239.9 million euros, or $364.6 million. Dollar figures were converted at average exchange rates for the periods to which they refer.

Aeffe produces and distributes collections for Alberta Ferretti, Moschino, Pollini and Jean Paul Gaultier and is listed on the STAR segment of the Italian stock exchange. Excluding the effects of the sale of a stake in the Narciso Rodriguez brand to Liz Claiborne Inc. in May 2007, and at constant exchange rate, sales would have grown 4.6 percent.

Aeffe shares dipped 5.9 percent at the close of the Milan Bourse to 0.52 euros, or 64 cents. “I’m not pleased with how the stock market values the shares, I don’t believe it corresponds to reality and this is a sign of the difficulties of the financial market,” said executive chairman Massimo Ferretti.

In the first nine months of 2008, the Alberta Ferretti brand grew 2.6 percent at constant exchange rate, accounting for 21.9 percent of sales. Moschino grew 8.1 percent, accounting for 47.6 percent of sales and Pollini rose 5.3 percent, accounting for 17.8 percent of sales. However, the Jean Paul Gaultier brand, which accounted for 8.5 percent of sales, registered a drop in revenues of 3.2 percent. Ferretti was optimistic about the future and said the appointment of new president Véronique Gautier at Gaultier will give a positive push to the maison. “We are very close to this brand, which we’ve been producing since 1994. It’s important for us, and we believe there will be further possibilities and new strategies for growth,” said Ferretti.

Sales at other Aeffe brands, which include Authier, Blugirl and Basso & Brooke, dropped 6.6 percent and accounted for 4.2 percent of sales.

While sales in Italy grew 2.7 percent, accounting for 38.5 percent of sales and Europe grew 2.1 percent, accounting for 21.9 percent of sales, revenues in other established markets such as the U.S. and Japan suffered. Sales in the U.S. dropped 4.7 percent at constant exchange rate and accounted for 8.9 percent of sales, excluding the Narciso Rodriguez brand. In Japan, sales dropped 6.9 percent and accounted for 5.9 percent of revenues.

Russia, on the other hand, grew 14.2 percent and accounted for 9.2 percent of sales. Ferretti, however, was cautious, pointing to the troubles connected to the decline in oil prices and the general economy, and said that market could be slowing down.

Sales in the rest of the world grew 21 percent at constant exchange rate, accounting for 15.6 percent of sales.

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