MILAN — A strong performance of the Hugo Boss brand and the return to profit at Valentino and the textile division helped Marzotto more than triple its net profits to 29 million euros, or $34.8 million, in the first half of 2004.

This compares with net profits of 8 million euros, or $9.6 million, in the same period last year. Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at current exchange rates. In the first half, Marzotto said its operating profits grew 53.2 percent to 69 million euros, or $82.8 million, from 45 million euros, or $54 million, in the same period last year.

Marzotto’s sales rose about 1 percent to 876 million euros, or $1.05 billion, from 868 million euros, or $1.04 billion, last year. At constant exchange rates, Marzotto’s total sales grew 9 percent.

Sales at the Hugo Boss and Valentino brands grew 11 percent and 19 percent, respectively, at constant exchange rates. In the first half, Hugo Boss and Valentino hit sales of 554 million euros, or $664.8 million, and 81 million euros, or $97.2 million, respectively.

Sales outside Italy accounted for 84 percent of the total. In a statement, Marzotto said the months of July and August confirmed a positive sales trend. Based on “the strengthening of its competitive position” in growing markets and the orders placed for the spring-summer 2005 collections, for the second part of the year, Marzotto said it expected sales to grow “in line with the first semester and a more than proportional increase in operating and net profits.” Marzotto noted that orders for the upcoming spring-summer collection grew 8 percent for Hugo Boss and 16 percent for Valentino.

In the period ended June 30, Marzotto reduced its debt to 627 million euros, or $752.4 million, from 670 million euros, or $804 million, on June 30 last year.

— Luisa Zargani

This story first appeared in the September 15, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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