Pretax losses at Dawson International grew to £8.5 million, up from a loss of £4.2 million the year before the company said on Thursday. But despite warning that its financial performance will be impaired by strategic investment and pension costs in the short term, the firm revealed its new Italian design, marketing and commercial team has already made a significant impact. A positive customer and press reaction to their first autumn/winter 2003 collections is now translating into a strong order intake it said.