LAROCHE LOSS FOR FIRST HALF REDUCED TO $4.9 MILLION

PARIS — Groupe Guy Laroche cut its loss for the first half to $4.9 million (26 million francs) at current exchange.
This compares to a loss of 66 million francs in the same period last year. Sales for the fashion group, whose apparel activities include the Guy Laroche couture and rtw lines and control of Michel Klein’s rtw business, were down 4 percent in the six months to $36 million (191 million francs).
In reporting the results, parent company Groupe Bic said that Laroche’s loss was narrowed thanks to reorganization efforts underway.
Regarding the drop in sales, Laroche director Jean-Jacques Schmoll explained that the group’s discontinuation of certain money-losing activities resulted in a smaller sales base.
For example, the group discontinued its licensing agreement to make and distribute Jean-Louis Scherrer rtw, and changed the arrangement into strictly a manufacturing agreement. It also discontinued selling to some marginal retail accounts.
Schmoll added that Groupe Laroche’s results were in line with projections.
Net profit for Groupe Bic in the first half jumped 53 percent to $54.5 million (289 million francs), while sales rose 8 percent to $622.2 million (3.3 billion francs).

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