MILAN — Acquisitions and strong apparel and accessories sales boosted Mariella Burani Fashion Group SpA’s first-half profits and revenues as the company expressed optimism about the second part of the year.
Pre-tax profit for the six months ended June 30 nearly tripled to $17.9 million from $6.5 million in the first half of 2002. Revenue rose 31.6 percent to $196.2 million. Dollar figures are converted from the euro at current exchange as Burani reported profits of 15.6 million euros on sales of 171.4 million euros.
In a statement, the company said of the second half of the year, “The first indications we’ve seen from the spring-summer 2004 campaign and the 2003-2004 fall-winter collection indicate good results.”
For the full year, Burani said it forecasts double-digit growth in consolidated revenue and even higher growth at the operating level.
Earnings before interest and taxes for the half grew by 24 percent to $12.1 million, or 10.6 million euros, from $9.7 million, or 8.5 million euros. This metric fell to 6.2 percent of sales from 6.5 percent.
The Italian company said its strategy of moving into high-margin products like leather goods, directly controlling retail distribution and expanding into foreign markets helped lift earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, 34.1 percent to $21.2 million, or 18.5 million euros, from $15.8 million, or 13.8 million euros. As a percentage of sales, this measure increased to 10.8 from 10.6.
Burani said it is seeing sales growth in new markets like eastern Europe and Russia. It also noted “excellent performance” in the leather goods area. As reported earlier this month, Burani sold 30 percent of its leather goods holding company Antichi Pellettieri to LVMH Möet Hennessy Louis Vuitton-controlled investment fund L Capital for $28.6 million, or 25 million euros, forming a partnership between the two companies in the leather goods arena.
Burani, which owns Mila Schön and has a joint venture with Stephen Fairchild, has also been busy on the shopping front. In the first half of this year, it consolidated for the first time two of its most recent acquisitions, a 50 percent stake in German fashion group Rene Lezard Mode GmbH and a 60 percent stake in leather accessories company Biasia Francesco SpA.