MILAN — A strong euro bit into Marzotto’s first-half numbers, but the company did manage to get Valentino to break even on a net-profit level.

Marzotto’s net profit for the six months ended June 30 came in at 11 million euros, or $13.5 million, compared to a year earlier loss of 9 million euros, or $9.9 million. Sales rose 0.9 percent to 876 million euros, or $1.08 billion, but Marzotto said that they would have risen 9 percent on a directly comparable basis and stripping out effects of currency exchange.

Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at the average exchange rates.

Marzotto said first-half sales on a constant currency basis rose 20 percent in Asia and North America.

Hugo Boss sales for the half rose 9.1 percent to 554 million euros, or $680.2 million, while those of Valentino rose 15.7 percent to 81 million euros, or $99.5 million. Marzotto said that Valentino’s operating profit margin came in at 7.6 percent of revenue, which works out to 6.16 million euros, or $7.6 million.

Marzotto bought a money-losing Valentino just over two years ago and has since relaunched and restructured the house through initiatives like focusing on high-end accessories, creating exclusive products for retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus and launching younger diffusion line Valentino R.E.D.

— Amanda Kaiser

This story first appeared in the July 30, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.