• Nine-month profits down 33% to EUR89.6m
  • Revenues fall 2.3% to EUR780.6m
  • Retail expansion to continue into 2010

Footwear company Geox posted a 33.4% fall in nine-month profits to EUR89.6m (US$134.7m), hit by the consumer downturn and the costs of retail expansion.

But the Italian operator signalled that it will continue to increase its number of shops, although at a slightly slower rate, in order to benefit from a future recovery in consumer spending.

Revenues in the first nine months of 2009 fell 2.3% to EUR780.6m, which the company blamed on the poor macroeconomic conditions and a downturn in consumer spending.

EBIT fell 20.5% to EUR154.4m, while adjusted net profit was down 23% to EUR103.6m, the company said.

Comparable store sales in the company's expanding retail network were down 4%, thanks to a particularly weak September.

However, Geox said trading in October had improved, with comps down 6%.

The company has opened 110 stores and closed 26 in the first nine months of the year.

Despite the sales picture, managing director Massimo Stefanello said the number of stores should rise by 100 over the year, with another 85 outlets likely to open during 2010.

Click here for editorial insight into the Geox results.