November 7, 2012 / 5:06 PM / 5 years ago

Online fashion retailer Yoox bucks economic slowdown

MILAN, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Online fashion retailer Yoox is expecting higher sales and profitability by the end of this year after an improved domestic market helped boost profits in the third-quarter.

Yoox, which powers sites for top brands such as Valentino and Giorgio Armani alongside its own multibrand websites, has heavily invested in its logistics to better serve shoppers in fast-growing markets and offset weaker demand in Europe.

Investments eroded profitability in the first half of the year but net profits grew 72.7 percent to 1.2 million euros in the three months to September, broadly in line with analyst expectations.

Net profits had fallen 25.6 percent to 2.2 million euros in the first half compared to the same period of 2011.

Sales in Italy returned positive in the third quarter after falling in the previous months, indicating improved consumer confidence in the recession-hit country especially among younger mobile shoppers.

Yoox said it expected revenues and profitability to improve in the fourth quarter, when it will launch its joint venture with French luxury conglomerate PPR.

Online clothing retailers such as Yoox and British rival ASOS have offset weaker retail sales in their home markets as more shoppers turn to their smartphones to buy leather bags and fashion accessories.

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