FLOODS BATTER GFT, MIROGLIO

Byline: Sara Gay Forden

MILAN — GFT SpA and Miroglio SpA have lost millions of dollars worth of fabrics and may have trouble meeting delivery schedules as a result of the floods sweeping through northwestern Italy.
GFT reported Wednesday that a warehouse in the city of Asti was flooded. The warehouse contained fabrics for the spring/summer ’95 collections of such designers as Valentino, Emanuel Ungaro and Claude Montana. The company said the flooding ruined materials and created problems for the production and delivery of parts of the collections.
“We still don’t know the full extent of the damage,” said a GFT spokesman, adding that the floods primarily affected the women’s division.
“We lost over 3,000 pieces for our cruise collection,” said Valentino chief executive Giancarlo Giammetti in a telephone interview. Details about damages to the Ungaro and Montana fabrics couldn’t be determined Wednesday.
According to a Miroglio spokeswoman, the textile division of the Alba-based textile and apparel group also suffered heavy losses from the flooding of a warehouse where fabrics were stored.
“The fabrics have been completely destroyed by the mud. There is no hope of recovering them,” the spokeswoman said.
Damages at the warehouse have been estimated at some $19.2 million (30 billion lire). The spokeswoman said the disaster could also affect Miroglio’s ability to deliver the outstanding portion of the fall/winter ’94 collection as well as early deliveries of the spring/summer ’95 collection, although she said she was having difficulty contacting the company for updated information because the flooding has washed out phone lines.
The three days of heavy rainstorms, severe flooding and mud slides have left more than 50 people dead and wreaked billions of dollars worth of damage to industry in the Piedmont region.
Other companies hurt by the flooding range from auto giant Fiat, which had to halt production on an assembly line because parts couldn’t reach the plant, to the Ferrero sweets factory, where an entire production line was wiped out, leaving a mountain of chocolates in the mud. Described as the worst natural disaster in the region in 81 years, the calamity prompted Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to declare a state of emergency in the flood-hit areas and promise $1.9 billion (2.9 trillion lire) in relief aid.

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