MILAN — IT Holding SpA reported a 13.1 percent drop in first-quarter earnings, but said roughly flat revenues for the period did not reflect double-digit increases in sales of the spring and summer collections.

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The Italian fashion group, which owns the Gianfranco Ferré, Malo and Exte brands and operates under license the Just Cavalli and C’N’C Costume National and Galliano labels, also forecast stable revenues and profits for the first nine months of the year, following strong sales growth over the same period in 2007 and a backlog of orders for fall 2008 collections.

It added commercial expansion in emerging markets would offset reduced dynamism in “some” Western European markets and that fourth-quarter results would be influenced by early orders of spring 2009 collections.

Net profits for the three months through March 31 decreased to 5.3 million euros, or $7.9 million at average exchange, compared with 6.1 million euros, or $8 million, in the same period a year earlier.

Revenues dipped 1.1 percent to 190.1 million euros, or $284.7 million, although these did not reflect an approximate 13 percent increase in sales of spring-summer 2008 lines, which were delivered early during the last quarter of 2007 because of market demand, unlike a year before, the company said.

“As a result, the first-quarter ’08 revenues were largely in line with both the figures for the first quarter of 2007 and the budget for the quarter,” IT Holding said.

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