Online fashion retailer Yoox sees Q4 growth

MILAN Wed Nov 9, 2011 2:00pm EST

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian online fashion retailer Yoox (YOOX.MI) is looking to further revenue growth for the end of the year after strong sales in the first nine months confirmed the vigor of the luxury industry despite wider economic woes in Europe.

Yoox, which powers sites for top brands such as Valentino and Roberto Cavalli alongside its own multibrand online stores, said core earnings rose 20.2 percent to 11.8 million euros ($16 million) in the nine months ended in September.

"In light of the positive performance of the online retail market and the demand for luxury goods, we are confident that, in the fourth quarter of the year, the group will again achieve net revenue growth in line with market expectations," the company said in the results' statement.

Net sales in the period rose 35.6 percent to 204.4 million euros, helped by new online store openings in fast-growing markets such as China and Russia.

Nine-month net profit fell 9.9 percent to 3.6 million euros as a result of planned investments in technology, the start-up of operations in China and unfavorable exchange rates.

Yoox plans to invest around 20 million euros over the next five years, mainly in innovation. It sees China as one of its top three markets in 2015, with the United States overtaking Italy to become No. 1 this year.

Italy sales grew 18.8 percent compared with a year ago, while the rest of Europe recorded a 38.2 percent growth, confirming the resilience of the luxury sector despite concerns over the impact of the euro zone crisis on consumers' mood.

British online fashion retailer ASOS (ASOS.L) posted a 66 percent rise in first-half profit, with strong sales growth overseas offsetting a recent slowdown in the UK.

(Reporting by Antonella Ciancio; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)