Jewelry Contributes to Strong Sales Results for Bulgari

Bulgari SpA said sales in the fourth quarter of 2006 rose 4 percent to 323.6 mln euros ($420 million) from the same period in the prior year, boosted by strong results in the Far East and the United States.

The Milan-based company said full year sales in 2006 rose 10 percent at current exchange rates to 1.01 billion euros ($1.3 billion) when compared with 2005. At comparable exchange rates the increase was 12 percent.

The company said fourth-quarter jewelry sales were “outstanding” with a 12.8 increase. Accessories did even better with a 23.1 percent increase for the quarter. The watch segment fell 3.4 percent for the period.

For the year, all product segments registered “excellent sales results,” the company said.  The jewelry segment increased 11.1 percent. Watch sales grew 10.3 percent. Perfumes sales rose 11.8 percent and accessory sales grew by 18.9 percent for the year.

Bulgari-owned stores sales registered a double-digit growth with contribution of all product categories, the company said.

Bulgari said it expects to post record operating and net profit results in 2006. It added it sees an increase in net profit for the year of more than 12 percent.

In 2007 the group said it will increase investments in its retail network and in advertising and expects sales and net profit to grow in a range of 8 to 12 percent at comparable exchange rates.

Bulgari said fourth-quarter results were boosted by a 25.5 percent increase in sales in the Far East and a 15 percent increase in sales in the U.S. Sales in Europe rose 6.7 percent. Meanwhile, sales in Japan fell 1 percent while sales in the Middle East fell 15.2 percent.

“The important goal of one billion euro exceeded by the 2006 turnover confirms that the Group is going in the right direction and the adopted strategies are winning,” said Francesco Trapani, Bulgari Group chief executive officer.