Famous clothing company Benetton Group SpA on Thursday posted a fall in first half consolidated net profit to 50 million euros from 60 million euros in the year-ago period.

The company said its bottom line was hurt by one-time charges which otherwise would have seen it post a six month profit of 73 million euros despite a fall in overall revenue to 969 million euros from one billion euros last year.

In a news release, Benetton cited currency effects and the sale of disposals for the slide in revenue.

"Net of the impact of currencies and taking account of the sports equipment businesses that have been sold, full year sales are expected to be in line with those of 2002," it said.

"In addition, the group sees the full year net profit before exceptional items at least in line with the 128 million euros realised on this basis in 2002.

"Full year investments are expected at the same level as last year, while net debt is expected to fall substantially, thanks to cash flow and sale of sports sector units."