MILAN — Sales at Rinascente SpA, part of Italy’s largest retail group, rose 6.6 percent to $2.85 billion (4.9 trillion lire) in 1996.
The company said net profits at Rinascente — which controls the eponymous chain of high-end department stores, the Upim discount apparel stores, Citta Mercato hypermarkets and BricoCenter do-it-yourself centers — reached $3.66 million (6.3 billion lire). Rinascente said that profit figure could not be compared with the 1995 figure (60.2 billion lire) because of a change in the way profits were distributed within the group last year to optimize its financial organization and set aside money for investment.
Net profit at the Rinascente Group surged 21 percent to $53.6 million (92.2 billion lire) in 1996 on sales of $4.17 billion (7.169 trillion lire), up 7 percent. The group controls Rinascente SpA and SMA supermarkets and holds a stake in Societa Habitat Italy SRL, which owns and operates a chain of Habitat home furnishing stores in Italy. The group operates 859 doors and has a staff of approximately 21,000.

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