Milan: Italian clothing retailer Benetton said it wants to expand in India as it reported a forecast-beating rise in quarterly revenues, helped by growth in emerging markets.
The maker of colourful sweaters said revenues rose 1.8% to €457 million ($580 million), helped by higher sales at its own stores, a positive performance in emerging markets like Russia, India and Mexico, and favourable exchange rates.
“Signs of instability remain, however, in the markets of greatest relevance to the group, particularly in Europe,” Benetton said.
Growth in emerging markets more than offset a slowdown in Spain and Greece while sales remained stable in Italy.
“In the first quarter of 2010, the market was still influenced by the general uncertainty in the global economy which is progressively stabilising, ” Benetton said in a statement on Wednesday. The firm reported net profit of 20 million euros in the quarter, also above expectations.
The average of three analysts’ estimates pointed to revenues of €454.2 million and net profit of €18.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters.
Benetton shares were up 5.8% at €6.37 at 1151 GMT, outperforming Milan’s broader index.
Europe’s retailers are seeing only tentative signs of economic recovery. Euro zone retail sales fell a bigger-than-expected 0.6% in March, signalling continued weakness in consumer demand.