financial
financial

Aeffe Adjusts Income Higher

Italian fashion group Aeffe SpA said Friday net profits last year increased 92 percent — and not 62.2 percent as reported last month — following a reduction in the tax rate.

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MILAN — Italian fashion group Aeffe SpA said Friday net profits last year increased 92 percent — and not 62.2 percent as reported last month — following a reduction in the tax rate.

The company, which operates the Alberta Ferretti, Moschino and Pollini brands and produces collections for Jean Paul Gaultier, also proposed a dividend of 0.02 euros, or 3 cents at current exchange, a share, after the board approved last year's financial statements.

Aeffe said in a statement that full-year earnings through Dec. 31 reached 15.3 million euros, or $21 million at average exchange, on sales of 293.2 million euros, or $401.9 million. The revised figure reflects a reduction in the tax rate to 29 percent from 56 percent in 2006.

Aeffe chairman Massimo Ferretti reiterated he was "particularly satisfied" with the results, which met "all our objectives at the beginning of the year, despite the increasing macroeconomic uncertainties," and that he was "confident" of achieving "good" revenue growth and "more than proportional growth in net profit" come yearend.

Aeffe's ability to weather the slowdown in consumer spending has put the company's stock under pressure since listing on the Milan Stock Exchange STAR segment for small companies in July.

This month, Aeffe shareholders approved a buyback of as much as 10 percent of the fashion group's capital in a bid to stabilize the stock price, which has fallen by almost a third this year. The move is also expected to finance strategic investments, including a possible acquisition in the luxury men's wear market.

Aeffe's shares closed down 2.8 percent on Friday, to 1.84 euros, or $4.49.
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