Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Italy’s Benetton Plans Restructuring as Losses Mount, Sources Say

A logo of United Colors of Benetton is seen in front of a store in Rome, Italy, July 21, 2020. (Reuters)
A logo of United Colors of Benetton is seen in front of a store in Rome, Italy, July 21, 2020. (Reuters)
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Italy’s Benetton Plans Restructuring as Losses Mount, Sources Say

A logo of United Colors of Benetton is seen in front of a store in Rome, Italy, July 21, 2020. (Reuters)
A logo of United Colors of Benetton is seen in front of a store in Rome, Italy, July 21, 2020. (Reuters)

Italy's Benetton family is readying plans to address mounting losses at its eponymous clothing retailer, including parting ways with CEO Massimo Renon after four years, two people close to the group said on Monday.

The board of the clothing group is expected to meet on Tuesday to discuss a net loss of around 230 million euros ($250 million) for 2023 which includes impairments, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

That compares with a net loss of 81 million euros in 2022, when revenues totaled 1 billion euros.

Benetton shareholders are then scheduled to meet on June 18, at which time Renon's CEO mandate will not be renewed, the two sources said.

Renon, who built his career in the eyewear industry working at Luxottica, Safilo and Marcolin, declined to comment.

The Benettons own the clothing group made famous by its colorful jumpers and provocative advertising campaigns through their Edizione holding company.

Edizione is preparing to back a restructuring of the clothing retailer and to inject 260 million euros, one of the sources said, adding that Edizione would exert closer control over the group.

Benetton has struggled to withstand growing competition from fast-fashion giants such as Zara owner Inditex which have developed a nimbler production and distribution model, able to more quickly respond to consumers' changing tastes.

In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on Saturday, Chairman Luciano Benetton, one of its founders, said the group had been expected to break even in 2023 under a three-year strategic plan, but a worse than expected financial situation had emerged in recent months.

Luciano Benetton told Corriere that current management, led by Renon, had surprised the board by unveiling a "dramatic" shortfall.

Founded in 1965 by Italy's Benetton family as a clothing manufacturer, Benetton expanded to trade through around 4,000 shops globally, according to its website. After listing the group in Milan in 1986, the Benettons took it private in 2012, the last year in which it made a profit.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : LVMH Sales Grow 1% in Second Quarter, Missing Estimates

This photograph taken on January 25, 2024 shows the logo of World's top luxury group LVMH during presentation of its 2023 annual results in Paris, on January 25, 2024. (AFP)
This photograph taken on January 25, 2024 shows the logo of World's top luxury group LVMH during presentation of its 2023 annual results in Paris, on January 25, 2024. (AFP)
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LVMH Sales Grow 1% in Second Quarter, Missing Estimates

This photograph taken on January 25, 2024 shows the logo of World's top luxury group LVMH during presentation of its 2023 annual results in Paris, on January 25, 2024. (AFP)
This photograph taken on January 25, 2024 shows the logo of World's top luxury group LVMH during presentation of its 2023 annual results in Paris, on January 25, 2024. (AFP)

LVMH, the world's biggest luxury company, posted a 1% rise in organic sales in the second quarter on Tuesday, missing analyst estimates, and likely adding to investor jitters about slowing growth in the sector.

Sales at the French group, owner of labels Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. and Hennessy, grew to 20.98 billion euros ($22.8 billion), a 1% rise on an organic basis, which strips out currency effects and acquisitions.

The figure fell below analyst expectations for revenues of 21.6 billion euros, according to an LSEG poll based on six analysts.

The report from luxury sector bellwether LVMH, which is Europe's second-largest listed company, worth around 340 billion euros, comes amid concerns about weak sales of designer fashions in the sector's key market, China.

The group's fashion and leather goods division, which includes the Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior brands and accounts for nearly half of group sales and the bulk of operating profit, grew 1%, slowing slightly from the previous quarter's 2% rise.

"While remaining vigilant in the current context, the group approaches the second half of the year with confidence," said LVMH Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Arnault in a statement.