Italian fashion chain Benetton SpA revealed an 11 per cent climb in first half net profit on Thursday as results were boosted by a reorganisation of its sports unit and the sale of manufacturing unit Color Service.

Benetton said net profit rose to 60 million euros but sales for the first six months of the year slipped four per cent to one billion euros. Gross operating income climbed 1.3 per cent to 453 million euros.

"The result was influenced by the reorganisation of the sports division which, in the face of an expected fall in turnover... produced a significant improvement in the company's efficiency and in divisional margins," it said.

Italy's biggest clothing retailer added it expects full-year net income to rise slightly and sales to be in line with last year's.