MILAN Nov 8 Italy's shoemaker Geox is
expecting sales to decline by around eight percent through to
the first half of 2013 as a prolonged recession hurt shopping in
its core domestic market.
The maker of "no-sweat" shoes said on Thursday sales fell
nine percent to 701.5 million euros ($892.80 million) in the
first nine months of the year. The group expects sales to fall
at a slightly lower pace for the whole of 2012.
The company, which had cash for 60 million euros at the end
of September, has appointed a new chief executive to accelerate
expansion in high-growth Asia, Russia and Eastern Europe to
offset weaker sales at home.
Europe, including recession-hit Italy accounts for nearly 80
percent of revenues.
"As expected, 2012 is proving to be difficult due to the
economic downturn of the Europe's Mediterranean countries where
the contraction in consumption is most widespread," Mario
Moretti Polegato, chairman and founder of Geox, said in a
Polegato said sales at directly operated stores were
encouraging and showing growth of 9 percent in the Autumn/Winter
season from a year earlier.
($1 = 0.7857 euros)
(Reporting by Antonella Ciancio)