The board of the Benetton Group has approved the company's double digit increase in full year profit, and raised its dividend by 8.8% at a shareholders' meeting yesterday (26 April).

Net income for the 2006 financial year increased 11.7% to EUR125m (US$170.5m), up from EUR112m in 2005. Consolidated revenues rose 8.3% to EUR1,911m.

The company's full-year period was buoyed by rising sales in Eastern Europe, China and India. A dividend of EUR0.37 per share was declared, up 8.8% compared with 2005.

The shareholders' meeting saw the appointment of board members Luciano Benetton, Alessandro Benetton, Carlo Benetton, Gilberto Benetton, Giuliana Benetton for the next three years.

Luigi Arturo Bianchi, Giorgio Brunetti, Gerolamo Caccia Dominioni Alfredo Malguzzi, Gianni Mion and Robert Singer were all appointed as independent directors for the same period.

The Benetton board also appointed current CFO Emilio Foà as "manager responsible for the preparation of company accounting documents."