FRENCH distribution concern Etam, which is active mainly in the lingerie sector, recorded a 17 per cent decline in net profit at the end of its first half, to EUR 8.4m, on sales that were up by 7.8 per cent, to EUR 645.3m. Excluding the impact of stock clearance losses in China, where sales have begun to recover after three years of decline, the situation there is said to be much improved. In Europe, sales of the Etam and Undiz brands were maintained at a satisfactory level but those of the 1,2,3 outerwear brand disappointed again. The group noted that the stronger USD had raised the price of merchandise sourced abroad during the period.
The first half results again raise questions regarding the validity of the 1,2,3 brand, which could be utilizing resources that might be used more profitably by the intimate apparel chains.