Aug 30, 2010
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Bulgari CEO sees profit rise this year

Aug 30, 2010

Aug 30 (Reuters) - Italian jeweller Bulgari SpA (BULG.MI) should see an "aggressive rise" in profits this year and a possible increase in its dividend, the Wall Street Journal quoted its chief executive as saying on Monday.

Bulgari Store Rome, Italy. Photo : Corbis

The Rome-based company posted a second-quarter net profit of 600,000 euros ($763,300) last month. It said then it may beat its revenue forecast this year if recovery continued.

If everything goes in the right direction Bulgari should see an "aggressive rise in profits" in the full year even if its total revenue rises only modestly, Chief Executive Francesco Trapani told the newspaper.

The consequent strong cash generation should also allow Bulgari's board to raise the dividend, he said. The 2009 dividend was 0.05 euro a share.

Trapani said the company was not for sale and acknowledged that Bulgari is often reported to be a potential acquisition target.

For example, this year Switzerland's Swatch Group AG (UHR.VX) was said to be interested. Trapani said other luxury groups might be more logically interested than Swatch but there have never been concrete talks.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Mike Nesbit) ($1=.7861 euros)

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