Overall positive results achieved in 2011, Benetton board
The Benetton Group Board of Directors reviewed key preliminary data for 2011. Preliminary consolidated revenues for 2011 reached € 2,031 million, substantially unchanged compared with € 2,053 million in 2010 (-0.4% currency neutral, -1.1% at current exchange rates).
The result achieved by the Group in 2011 was positive overall, and demonstrated the capacity of the brands to react and cope with a macro-economic situation which, during the year, was in continuously negative evolution, especially in Southern Europe.
Furthermore, these results, were also achieved due to the contribution of the network of partners and their continued support, and to the dynamic development of many countries, in particular outside Europe, indicating the potential which already exists within the Group's sphere of operations and which it will be possible to achieve even more fully in a less challenging macro-economic situation.
More specifically, the Apparel segment achieved € 1,912 million, against € 1,948 million in 2010 (-1.1%, currency neutral), while the Textile segment saw an increase in sales compared with the previous year of € 14 million, reaching € 119 million (+14%, at current exchange rates).
In the fourth quarter of 2011, total sales were € 550 million, down by € 5 million against the corresponding quarter of 2010, entirely due to the exchange impact. During the fourth quarter of 2011, direct sales on a like-for-like basis showed an improving trend compared with the preceding nine months, thus enabling a recovery after the difficult start to the Fall/Winter season experienced in September, due also to climatic conditions.
Examining revenue performance by geographical area, in Europe, positive contributions to the results for the financial year were made by the double-digit growth achieved in Russia and ex-USSR countries, growth in continental Europe (especially in Germany) and performance in the UK market. This contrasted with the decrease in Greece, although partially improving at the end of the year, and the marginal reductions in the Spanish and Italian markets. Overall, Europe reduced by 2% in the year.
All other geographical areas showed growth, with differentiated performance in the principal countries in which the Group operates. In the Americas (+6%), strong growth in Mexico was confirmed, where the UCB brand further strengthened its position and there was strong growth overall in South American countries (+30%). In the USA and Canada, there was a contraction (-12%) associated with the restructuring of the sales network in those markets, even though the results of comparable stores in the USA showed an encouraging positive trend in the final quarter of the year.
In Asia (+5%), almost all countries saw double-digit growth, including: India and Korea +11% and ex-USSR Asiatic countries even exceeding 20%. In Greater China and all its constituents, there was a gratifying direct sales result on a like-for-like basis (+ 5%). Japan, on the other hand, was down due to the restructuring of the sales network and the natural disaster of last March.