The Italian group has severely damaged by the difficult

economic situation in Mediterranean countries - of greatest importance to the group-: however, Benetton posted a first half year results up to €906 million (+1.7% over the comparative half year, corresponding to €15 million).

Against all the European gloom, the brand known for its always ethnical yet controversial advertising, registered what they called “modest growth” in Europe (+1.2% currency neutral), pulled by larger growth in Asia (+4.7%) and in the Americas (+4.5%). Countries showing the highest growth in the half year compared with the same period of 2010 were: Russia (+39%) now the Group’s fourth largest market in Europe, South Korea (+11%) and Turkey (+6%) in Asia, and Mexico (+18%) in the Americas. On the whole, results in Italy (+1%) and Spain (+4%) were also satisfying, while Greece suffered (-21%) due to the internal economic recession.

Despite the orders for the Spring/Summer collection closed slightly down, order collection for the coming Fall/Winter has started well, indicating a reassuring reversal of the trend. Direct sales for the second quarter of 2011, with a slightly improved result in comparable stores, also indicate a reversal of the trend compared with the first part of the year, summed up the company directives in a note to their investors.

Elsewhere, stronger banks helped Britain's FTSE 100 share index edge higher on Thursday as investors welcomed upbeat data releases from across the Atlantic, though the overriding mood was one of caution, with only a few days left for the U.S. government and its opponents to reach a deal on its debt and avoid a default. Trailing this bounce were to be seen many fashion stocks such as SuperGroup, which led the Top 5 Winners within the FashionUnited Top 100 Index.

Finally, and as a golden brooch for a quite boosting week, the fashion luxury stocks kept on the rise on Thursday as Tod´s and Hermés ended the session among the 5 best performers.




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