MILAN — Higher financial charges hurt Aeffe SpA’s bottom line in the first nine months of the year ended Sept. 30.
While reporting better operating profits, the Italian apparel manufacturer posted a net loss of 283,000 euros, or $362,240, compared with a net profit of 148,000 euros, or $207,200, in the same period last year.
Aeffe, which controls the Alberta Ferretti, Moschino and Pollini brands and produces and distributes collections for Cacharel and Cédric Charlier, said revenues edged up 0.7 percent to 198.7 million euros, or $254.3 million.
Sales of apparel decreased 1 percent to 156.3 million euros, or $200 million, while the footwear and leather goods division gained 7.9 percent to 54.7 million euros, or $70 million.
Dollar figures are converted at average exchange rates for the periods to which they refer.
Executive chairman Massimo Ferretti said that, “Despite the difficult economic situation, the group remains strongly focused on growth and efficiency, both through investments aiming at strengthening the presence in high-potential markets such as Asia, and through new stylistic projects.”
In particular, Ferretti said he was “very satisfied” with the new partnership with Emanuel Ungaro. In September, Aeffe struck a deal with Ungaro owner Asim Abdullah, a San Francisco-based high-tech entrepreneur, and his investment vehicle Aimz, to produce and distribute the brand’s women’s top line clothing and accessories. Aeffe named Fausto Puglisi the brand’s new creative director. Ferretti said this is in line with Aeffe’s “objective to expand the creative and productive platform of the group.”
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 7.4 percent to 20.5 million euros, or $26.2 million, thanks to cost cutting strategies and an improvement in efficiency.
Operating profit climbed 18.6 percent to 10.4 million euros, or $13.3 million.
Italy remained Aeffe’s main market and its lackluster economy dented the group’s sales. In the first nine months, revenues in the group’s home country decreased 6.1 percent to 78.9 million euros, or $101 million, accounting for 39.7 percent of total revenues.
Capital expenditures in the first nine months amounted to 4.6 million euros, or $5.9 million, mainly aimed at the maintenance and refurbishment of stores. Divestments included the sale of the Paris Moschino store in Rue de Grenelle; the sale of the Pollini store in Milan’s Piazza Duomo, and of the New York estates of the group’s American subsidiary to Ferrim Usa, for a total of 16.9 million euros, or $21.6 million.
As of Sept. 30, net debt stood at 95.6 million euros, or $122.3 million, compared with 107.6 million, or $150.6 million, at the end of September last year — a reduction the company partially attributed to a “rationalization of the group’s real estate properties,” decided upon at the time of Aeffe’s initial public offering in 2007.
Last month, the licensing agreement between Aeffe and Jean Paul Gaultier came to an end after 17 years, effective with the spring 2013 collection.