Aeffe’s net profits were halved in 2008 due to weak sales, higher costs and a €2.0 million asset impairment on its stores. The Italian fashion company, whose assets including Pollini, booked a 0.5 percent rise in revenues to €294.7 million. While the turnover of the wholesale business rose by 2.5 percent to €212.0 million, retail sales fell by 9.8 percent to €64.3 million and royalties rose by 22.7 percent to €18.4 million.

Operating income before interest, tax and amortization (Ebitda) dropped by 18.9 percent to €34.3 million, hit by discounts granted to clients, especially in the U.S., and a decline in profitability of the retail network, which suffered from the fall in sales and additional costs linked to the opening of stores.

The Ebitda of the ready-to-wear division fell by 18.0 percent to €30.2 million and shrunk by 24.0 percent to about €4.1 million for the footwear and leathergoods business.

The group’s net profit plummeted by 49.9 percent to €7.7 million. Aeffe cut its dividend payment to €0.007 from €0.02 the previous year.

Net debt rose to €66.8 million at the end of 2008 from €38.5 million a year earlier due to investments, the repurchase of shares on the stock market and an increase of the working capital to €73.5 million from €51.6 million.