Italian sportswear and athletic trainer company Fila Holding SpA has posted a wider second quarter net loss and called a special meeting of shareholders to seek their backing for an action plan aimed at recapitalising the firm.

The Biella-based company said it made a net loss of $32.6 million compared to a net loss of $27.3m in 2001.

Fila said worldwide revenues fell one per cent to 205.9 million euros, with net direct sales in the staying flat at 196.3 million euros compared to Euro 198.6 million in 2001.

Apparel sales climbed nine per cent to 110.4 million euros but footwear sales slipped 12 per cent to 85.9 million euros. US sales jumped 16 per cent to 64.2 million euros, but Europe sales plunged 14 per cent to 54.2 million euros amid lower activity in France and the UK.

Sales in the rest of the world decreased by three per cent because the good performance in the Korean market – plus 21 per cent in local currency in the quarter - was offset by a continued drop in the Latin American business - Argentina and Mexico.

Fila CEO, Marco Isaia, said: "In a very complex and difficult market environment, unexpectedly hampered by the South American crisis, I'm pleased to highlight the progress in the North American market as well as the outstanding success of our Korean subsidiary.

"Our major managerial efforts to streamline and make more effective our activities are producing relevant results. I expect our goal of reducing overall operating losses throughout 2002 will be reached."

The company said its total backlog as of June 30, scheduled for delivery from July through December, was down 11 per cent in total, with apparel backlog down five per cent and footwear backlog down 19 per cent.

Fila added that at a special meeting on September 23 it will ask shareholders to apply reserves and reduce the par value of its shares from 1.30 euros to 0.50 euro each and authorise a 2-for-1 reverse stock split.