MILAN — Versace widened its losses in 2004 to 95 million euros, or $117.8 million, as sales slid 20.6 percent to 320 million euros, or $396.8 million.

(Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at average exchange rates.)

Versace’s board approved the company’s balance sheet last week but declined further comment on the numbers.

Last week, Versace chief executive officer Giancarlo Di Risio told WWD that 2004 losses would be greater than the 26.5 million euros, or $30 million, seen in 2003. He said 2004 marked a turning point for the company as it restructures and works toward a goal of breaking even in 2007.

“This is an historic transformation from a family-run company to a manager-run company. We are abiding by the same principles as a publicly listed company,” he said.

Di Risio emphasized Versace is making progress, correcting problems of late deliveries, producing more focused and commercially viable collections and chipping away at its debts by selling off assets like the watch and beauty businesses, which it subsequently licensed.

Di Risio acknowledged that a more sophisticated and “exploitable” product range fueled a 53 percent increase in fall-winter 2005 wholesale sales. He outlined a plan to grow sales in underexploited areas such as accessories and the U.S. market and generate more royalty income from licensed products like watches, beauty products and hotels.

This story first appeared in the June 1, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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