Aug 2, 2010
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Bulgari says may beat 2010 revenue guidance

Aug 2, 2010

Italian jeweller Bulgari SpA (BULG.MI) said on Thursday it may beat its revenue growth forecast in 2010 if recovery continues, after returning to profit in the second quarter.


The Rome-based company, known for its jewellery, watches and perfumes, posted a net profit of 600,000 euros ($785,200) in the second quarter, confirming a rebound in the luxury market seen at groups such as LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (LVMH.PA).

An average forecast from nine analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had pointed to a net profit of 7 million euros.

Chief Executive Officer Francesco Trapani confirmed a mid single-digit growth in revenue guidance for 2010, but said the forecast was conservative.

"There are initiatives in place that allow us to think that we may beat the guidance," Trapani told Reuters.

Revenue in the six months to June grew 8.2 percent to 443.3 million euros, but were slowed by delayed deliveries of watches and perfumes as well as by a strong Swiss franc.

"First-half revenues would have been up 14 percent, without including a delay in deliveries of watches and perfumes," Trapani said.

He said in June a growth forecast of 4 to 6 percent for 2010 was conservative.

The company, which is looking to make handbags a bigger part of its business, said accessory sales rose 20.7 percent in the six months to June, helped by a new advertising campaign.

Perfume sales were up 13.5 percent, despite deliveries of the new perfume "Man" being delayed until the second half of the year.

The U.S. was the best-performing market for Bulgari in the first half, with sales up 52.7 percent, and encouraging signs were also seen in Europe.

As for the Swiss franc, Trapani said he did not expect a further impact on earnings in the months ahead. Bulgari makes watches and other products in Switzerland.

(Reporting by Antonella Ciancio and Cristina Carlevaro; Editing by David Holmes) ($1=.7641 Euro)

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