• Full-year profit falls 22%
  • Revenues down 3.7% to EUR2.05bn
  • Sees "more energetic" demand in 2010

Italian clothing retailer Benetton Group has posted a 22% drop in full-year profit, but says it hopes to see "more energetic" demand in the second half of 2010.

In 2009, though, net profit fell to just over EUR120m from EUR155m a year earlier.

And revenues were down 3.7% to EUR2.05bn from a record high of EUR2.13bn in 2008.

In Europe, which has suffered most from the economic crisis, sales dropped 4%. In contrast, emerging market sales jumped 15%, driven by countries like India where revenurs were up by almost 50%.

The company said its sales were "impressive" against a backdrop of acute declines in the domestic and international economy.

Textile segment sales rose by 8% on the previous year to EUR102m, while Apparel sales fell 3% to EUR1.95bn.

Looking ahead, the Italian firm expects "continued uncertainty" in the early part of 2010 but believes demand in the second half of the year should be "more energetic" in its main markets "and could generate positive effects starting with the 2010 autumn/winter collections."