(Adds company confirming its full-year guidance)
MILAN (Thomson Financial) - Geox SpA said its net profit in the first quarter rose on the back of stronger sales to 79.1 million euros from 72.5 million euros in the same period last year, in the middle of a consensus range of 74.1 million to 85.8 million euros.
Sales in the period rose to 365.0 million euros from 315.2 million euros the previous year, below a consensus range of 372.9 million to 391.0 million euros.
In a comment, Geox chairman and founder Mario Moretti Polegato said he is satisfied with the 17 percent growth in sales in the first quarter, adding that sales growth increased further to 20 percent at the end of April, despite unfavourable weather conditions in March and April.
In the first quarter, shoe sales rose 12.3 percent to 337.5 million euros, and apparel sales increased 87.5 percent to 27.2 million euros.
By distribution channel, wholesale sales rose 11.2 percent to 281.9 million euros and sales at Geox stores jumped 34.5 percent to 83.1 million euros.
Like-for-like sales at directly-operated stores were up 11 percent, with Italian stores rising 13 percent; other European stores up 9 percent; U.S. stores up 17 percent and shops in the rest of the world up 5 percent.
Polegato said he is confident of 'significant' growth for the full year, on the basis also of the group's autumn-winter orders portfolio, which has to date grown by 20 percent compared to the previous year's collection.
Geox said EBITDA in the first three months rose to 123.7 million euros from 118.2 million euros, below a consensus range of 131.7 million euros to 138.7 million euros.
EBIT rose to 118.0 million euros from 113.1 million euros, the company said.
Net cash fell to 57.7 million euros at the end of March from 106.8 million euros at the end of December, as the free cash flow was a negative 51.2 million euros.
In the first quarter, Geox's capital expenditure reached 22.6 million euros, of which 20.0 million was spent on store openings.
The company opened 48 Geox stores in the first three months of the year, bringing the total to 772 at the end of March.
During a conference call, CFO Luciano Santel confirmed the group's full-year guidance of a gross profit margin of 56 percent and an EBITDA margin of 25 percent.
In the first quarter, the gross operating margin was 54.6 percent of sales and the EBITDA margin 33.9 percent.
Capital expenditure is still expected to be around 70 million this year, Santel said. firstname.lastname@example.org sj/jlc/pw/cmr/pw/kf1 COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Financial News Limited 2008. All rights reserved. The copying, republication or redistribution of Thomson Financial News Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Financial News.
Kostenloser Wertpapierhandel auf Smartbroker.de