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Valentino Group predicts tough year as profits dip

Valentino Fashion Group, which owns and operates the Hugo Boss, Marlboro Classics and M Missoni brands, predicted a difficult year ahead after profits fell 3% last year.

Valentino Fashion Group’s profit-before-tax, depreciation and amortisation fell 3% to €320.4 million (£285.2m) for the 12 months to December 31, adjusted for one-off costs related to management changes at Hugo Boss and group reorganisation.

“Notwithstanding the uncertainty of the current environment, we are confident that the breadth and strength of our brands leaves us well positioned to deliver on our ambitious growth objectives in the medium term.”

Valentino Fashion Group chief executive Stefano Sassi

Operating profits fell to €248.3 million (£220.9m) but turnover for the year rose 3% to €2.21 billion (£1.96bn).

Valentino Fashion Group chief executive Stefano Sassi said: “The outlook for 2009 remains difficult and the group acted quickly to optimise processes and save costs where necessary. Notwithstanding the uncertainty of the current environment, we are confident that the breadth and strength of our brands leaves us well positioned to deliver on our ambitious growth objectives in the medium term.”

Hugo Boss’ net profits dropped 27% to €112m (£99.7m) last year, although sales rose 3% to €1.69bn (£1.5bn. Sales at the Valentino brand dipped 1% to €260.3m (£231.7m), and Marlboro Classics saw a 4% sales increase to €265.8m (£236.7m). At M Missoni, sales rose 27%, although the group did not disclose exact figures.

Valentino Fashion Group was bought by private equity firm Permira in 2007.

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