Rising Costs Limit Geox’s Profits

LOS ANGELES — Higher overhead costs cut into Geox SpA’s earnings for the first nine months of the year, though the company still managed a 3 percent increase in profits.

For the first three quarters of the year, the company reported that earnings rose 3 percent to 133.9 million euros, or $203.9 million, calculated at average exchange.

According to the company, earnings were restrained by an increase in operating costs, including a 17 percent increase in production costs, a 12 percent increase in selling and distribution costs, and a 16 percent increase in advertising and promotion costs.

Sales during the period increased 15 percent to $1.22 billion. Sales rose 16 percent on a constant currencies basis.

“Despite this difficult environment, we are satisfied with the results achieved by our group in the first nine months of 2008,” Geox founder and Chairman Mario Moretti Polegato said in an earnings release. “Our 16 percent growth confirms we are among the top companies at international level in terms of sales growth and profitability. I am confident that our group, thanks to the strength of the Geox brand and to our solid balance sheet, will overcome this difficult moment stronger than ever.”

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