Fashion retailer Benetton Group SpA has registered a preliminary €1.69 billion revenue for 2004, a drop of 9 per cent on last year's €1.86bn.

Sales of the company's core casual clothing lines, which account for 90 per cent of the group's revenue, fell 4.75 per cent to €1.50bn.

The group result was partly affected by the selling-off of its sports equipment units during 2004.

Treviso-based Benetton operates over 5,000 franchised stores in 120 countries under the names United Colors of Benetton and Sisley.