GALERIES LAFAYETTE PROFITS DROP

PARIS — Skewed by extraordinary gains, pretax profits at Galeries Lafayette in the first half fell sharply to $13.7 million (81 million francs) from 390 million francs a year earlier.
In this year’s first half, the retailer had an extraordinary gain of $14.7 million (87 million francs), while in the year-ago period an extraordinary gain amounted to 526 million francs.
Operating losses, however, narrowed significantly for the first six months of this year and totaled $23.5 million (139 million francs), compared with an operating loss of 242 million francs a year ago. Galeries attributed this reduction to improved operating costs and sales margins. Galeries’ sales for the first half were $2.27 billion (13.4 billion francs), down 2 percent compared with the same period in 1996.

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