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Benetton sales increase

Italian clothing retailer Benetton increased net revenues by 2.9% to €996 million (£803m) and boosted EBITDA by 15.7% to €156m (£125m) over the first half of 2008.

Net profit increased slightly, up 2.5% to €72m (£58m)

The business attributed the growth to a good product mix, new higher value product categories and driving business in countries with good growth opportunities.

Accessories was a strong product group for the business, sales increasing by around 50% over the past two years. The group opened 30 more Benetton Man stores over the period and in the Benetton Adult range, shirt sales have increased by 40% over the past two years. The Sisley Young division opened 15 stores over the period.

The company said in a statement that the performance was in line with expectations: "The group confirms the 2008 full year objectives, although recognising the uncertainty associated with the unfavourable economic situation and the risks introduced by the increase in raw material prices and the acceleration of inflation in Asian countries."

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