The Benetton Board of Directors today approved the consolidated results for the first quarter of 2005.
Consolidated revenues for the 2005 first quarter were 378 million euro, compared with 381 million in the corresponding period of 2004. Casual sector sales amounted to 339 million euro, in line with the first quarter of 2004, thanks to the growth in the retail revenues and to a different product mix.
Gross operating margin was 43.5 per cent of sales, compared with 44.9 per cent in the same period of 2004, affected by the different product mix relative to the comparative quarter.
Income from operations was 36 million euro, 9.4% of revenues compared with 11.9% in the corresponding period in 2004, influenced mainly by increased costs for expansion of the directly operated commercial network.
Net income for the period was 23 million euro, compared with 28 million in the first quarter of 2004.
Free cash flow in the first three months was 42 million euro negative, improving from 51 million euro in the same period of 2004, in spite of high operating investments in the period.
Group net operating investments in the first quarter of 2005 amounted to 23 million euro compared with 21 million euro in the first quarter of 2004. Around 15 million euro was dedicated to commercial activities and around 6 million euro to investments in production.
The net financial position was 470 million euro, compared with 497 million as of March 31, 2004 and 431 million euro as of December 31, 2004. The change compared with year-end was mainly due to the normal working capital cycle.
The Board also examined the 2005 outlook and confirmed the full year forecast announced at the time of the March 4th Board Meeting.
After closure of the first quarter, the Company finalized an important Joint Venture agreement in Turkey (Benetton Giyim Sanayi) and a co-branding agreement with the Barbie brand of the Mattel Group.