Apr 17, 2009
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Valentino Fashion Group 2008 turnover up 3 pct

Apr 17, 2009

MILAN, April 17 (Reuters) - Valentino Fashion Group, behind brands such as Valentino and Hugo Boss (BOSG_p.DE), reported a broadly stable 2008 core profit on Friday 17 April, adding the outlook for this year remains difficult.

Valentino catwalk Autumn-Winter 2009/2010 Paris

Net turnover rose 3 percent to 2.2 billion euros ($2.88 billion).

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were 320.4 million euros versus 330.3 million euros the previous year. The figures were adjusted for one-off costs relating to management changes at the Hugo Boss board and group reorganisation.

"The outlook for 2009 remains difficult and the Group acted quickly to optimise processes and save costs where necessary," Chief Executive Stefano Sassi said in a statement.

Hugo Boss reported better-than-expected 2008 earnings last month and expects profitability to grow this year in spite of slowing sales. Revenues rose 3 percent to 1.69 billion euros.

The Valentino brand, founded by the now-retired designer Valentino Garavani, saw revenues fall 1 percent to 260.3 million euros. They rose 5 percent at constant exchange rates.

The brand saw "considerable growth" in the first half of the year, the company said. This was offset by the negative performance of the retail business in the second half, following the gradual worsening of the economic climate.

The group's other brands registered a 4 percent rise in revenues to 265.8 million euros.

Luxury brands have not been spared by the financial crisis. Analysts expect the global luxury goods market -- worth about 170 billion euros -- to decline up to 10 percent this year. ($1=.7628 Euro) (Editing by Simon Jessop)

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