Giorgio Armani;

SWEET DIVIDEND: According to Forbes, Giorgio Armani ranks number 215 on the 2017 list of billionaires and his net worth as of Sept. 8 stands at $8.3 billion. While the Italian designer has decided to channel his fashion group’s profits from 2016 back into the company as a financial provision, as he had the previous year, Armani, who controls and is also the chairman of his namesake company, in October issued an extraordinary dividend of 80 million euros.

His group can afford it. As reported in July, Giorgio Armani SpA relies on a cash pile of 881 million euros, up 35 percent compared with 654 million euros at the end of 2015. The group’s annual report, deposited at the Italian Chamber of Commerce, also states that the company in December sold 200,000 shares in Italy’s eyewear firm Luxottica SpA, with a capital gain of 7.2 million euros. Luxottica is Armani’s longtime eyewear licensee.

The report shows that, in February, 9,500 company shares, or 0.1 percent of capital, were transferred from the designer into the new partner Fondazione Giorgio Armani. Last year marked the first time the designer — who turned 84 on July 11 — revealed details about the future of his company, confirming he had established the long-rumored Fondazione Giorgio Armani  which, while aiming to fund social projects, also ensures that his $3 billion fashion group will live on.

As reported, in February Armani unveiled a new brand strategy, revealing his decision to cease the Armani Collezioni and Armani Jeans brands and use only the Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani and A|X Armani Exchange monikers. The new strategy will be effective with the spring 2018 season. Armani Collezioni and Armani Jeans will be blended in those three main lines. The company attributed the change to “a competitive market and a constantly changing scenario. The aim is to strengthen individual brands, redeploying its portfolio to maximize its potential with respect to its relevant targets.”