MILAN — Costs associated with investments in automation and technology, as well as a higher tax rate, hurt Yoox Group’s bottom line in the first three months of the year.

This story first appeared in the May 10, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

For the period ended March 31, the Italian e-tailer reported a 25.6 percent drop in net profits, which fell to 1.2 million euros, or $1.5 million, compared with 1.7 million euros, or $2.3 million, in the same period last year.

Revenues climbed 30.5 percent to 91 million euros, or $119.2 million, compared with 69.7 million euros, or $97.5 million, in the same period last year.

Dollar amounts have been converted at average exchange rates for the periods to which they refer.

The group’s multibrand division, which comprises online stores, and its newly launched footwear store, posted sales of 63.8 million euros, or $83.5 million, up 20.7 percent, and accounting for 70.2 percent of total revenues.

The group also operates stores for designers including Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Brunello Cucinelli and Marni, and this channel reported sales of 27.1 million euros, or $35.5 million, up 61.4 percent compared with last year. At the end of December, Yoox operated 30 online stores. In the first quarter, stores were added for Barbara Bui and Pringle, in addition to DSquared2 in China.

In the second quarter of 2012, Yoox will launch an online store for Alexander Wang, which will be active in the Asia-Pacific region including China, Hong Kong and Japan, and will feature the designer’s namesake brand as well as the T by Alexander Wang label. The collections will also be on

In addition, after Staff International SpA took over the license of the Just Cavalli brand from Ittierre SpA, in April Yoox signed a five-year agreement with the new licensee to continue the management of the Just Cavalli brand, which originally began within the online store in February 2011.

Yoox shares closed on Wednesday down 3.85 percent at 10 euros, or $13 at current exchange.

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