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MILAN — Italian footwear and apparel maker Geox reported a slight rise in adjusted 2008 net profit on a 16 percent growth in revenues, which hit the $1.3 billion mark.
Net profit rose to 123.4 million euros, or $181.4 million, compared to 123 million euros, or $168.5 million, in 2007, but this figure was adjusted by 5.8 million euros, or $8.5 million, for non-cash extraordinary costs, such as the opening of stores and a write-down of deferred tax assets.
In 2008, sales rose to 892.5 million euros, or $1.31 billion, compared to 770 million euros, or $1.05 billion, the previous year. (Dollar figures were converted from the euro at average exchange rate for the period.)
“[This was] an excellent result considering the drastic contraction in consumer spending worldwide,” said Mario Moretti Polegato, chairman and founder of Geox. “Economic outlook is likely to remain uncertain and difficult for the next few months, but the orders received for the spring/summer 2009 season are up by 6 percent and this makes us confident about the future.”
While the company has been expanding its product range with apparel — including translating its no-sweat, breathable, patented technology into jackets and outerwear — sales remain driven by footwear, which accounted for 91 percent of revenues, up 12.5 percent compared to 2007. In 2008, apparel showed a 62.5 percent increase compared to the previous year.
Italy remains the company’s main market, accounting for 37 percent of sales, up 13 percent compared to 2007. The company is looking to significantly expand the brand’s presence in North America, which accounted for 5.6 percent of sales in 2008. Gary Champion, a former Clarks executive, was named to the newly created post of COO of North America in February to help facilitate growth there.
The Milan stock exchange responded favorably on Wednesday when Geox rose 9.99 percent to close at 4.90 euros, or $6.17 at current exchange rate.