Fila reports another loss, blames trend

Principal business in shoes for basketball is way off

Sportswear

May 07, 1999|By Kristine Henry | Kristine Henry,SUN STAFF

Italian sportswear company Fila Holdings SpA yesterday reported a net loss of $8.7 million, or 32 cents for each American depositary receipt, in the first quarter that ended March 31. The company reported a net loss of $8.7 million, or 33 cents per depositary receipt, in the corresponding quarter a year ago.

The company, which has its U.S. headquarters in Sparks, said net direct sales decreased 15 percent from the first quarter of 1998, with its U.S. footwear sales down 51 percent to $38.8 million and apparel sales down 4 percent to $23.4 million. Net revenue declined nearly 11 percent to $271.9 million.

"In Europe, despite a quite slow market in some of the most important countries like Italy and the U.K., we are progressing at a steady rate, with Germany outperforming at plus 34 percent," said chief executive Michele Scannavini.

"In footwear, the large majority of the decline is explained by the collapse in [basketball shoes], our previous stronghold. We are progressively replacing the position lost in [basketball] with [an] interesting increase in running, now our No. 1 category, with a competitive mix of appealing products and strong marketing support."

Fila USA announced in March that it would outsource its distribution functions to a firm in Miami.

About 85 employees and another 85 temporary employees worked at the company's two distribution warehouses in Point Breeze and Brandon Woods. The Florida firm, Ryder Integrated Logistics Inc., said it intended to hire as many of the workers as possible but could make no guarantees.

Fila's ADRs were down 87.5 cents yesterday to close at $11.9375.

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