Geox Profit Slips

It was a seesaw year at Geox SpA, as a strong second half in 2010 was unable to offset a weak first half.

The Italian maker of “breathable shoes” said Thursday its net income for 2010 fell 13 percent from 2009, after revenue slipped 2 percent in the same period.

For the year, Geox earned a net income of 58 million euros, or $81 million at current exchange, compared with 66.7 million euros, or $93.2 million, in 2009.

The group’s second half fared better than the first. Group revenue grew 9 percent in the period, after falling 10 percent in the first half. As a result, total sales were 850.1 million euros, or $1.2 billion, a 2 percent decline from 2009.

Revenue by region rose in every market in the second half, but fell in every region in the first. Footwear sales increased 5 percent in the second half, but fell 12 percent in the first.

Performances in the wholesale, franchising and directly operated store segments all significantly improved in the second half as well. Directly operated stores grew the most, at 21 percent, in the full year, due to a 7 percent increase in comparable-store sales over the same period.

For the full year, sales of footwear, which represent 86 percent of Geox’s total sales, slipped 5 percent to 731.9 million euros, or $1 billion. In contrast, apparel sales surged 20 percent.

Through it all, selling, general and administrative expenses rose 6 percent to 273.7 million euros, or $382.8 million.

“2010 closed with … a satisfactory second half,” said Mario Moretti Polegato, chairman and founder of Geox. “Particular satisfaction came from our directly operated stores, which reported comparable growth during the fall/winter season of 14 percent, further confirmation of the strength of the Geox brand, our technology and the group’s ability to create collections that are appreciated by consumers.”

Geox ended the year with 92.1 million euros, or $128.7 million, versus 102.6 million euros, or $143.4 million, at the end of 2009.

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