The Italian company that owns Kappa, Robe di Kappa, K-Way, Superga, Lanzera and other brands has reported a 39.5 percent increase in net profit to €7,561,000 for the first quarter ended March 31. Operating earnings (Ebit) rose by 21.5 percent to €10.6 million, thanks to 11 percent higher direct sales of €38.8 million and 22 percent higher royalties and commissions of €16.2 million.

Boosted by the higher value of the dollar, the aggregate revenues of Basicnet and its licensees grew by 24.8 percent to €145.4 million during the period, with a significant 13.3 percent increase in constant currencies. They went up by 53.3 percent in the Americas, by 46.6 percent in the Middle East and Africa, by 42.5 percent in Asia-Pacific and by 15.7 percent in the European market.

Particularly strong growth was recorded by Superga, up by 67 percent, and by K-Way, up by 33 percent. Kappa and Robe di Kappa, which together represent 60 percent of the total aggregate turnover, rose by 9.6 percent.

The company continued to spend 9.9 percent of revenues on sponsorships and the media. A new sponsorship deal was signed a few weeks ago with the SSC Napoli football team.

The debt/equity ratio improved to 0.48 from 0.56 as of last Dec. 31.

Basicnet's share price has risen by 65 percent since the beginning of this year. At their annual meeting, the company's shareholders decided to approve a share buyback program of up to €2.5 million until the end of this year. In the past year, Basicnet bought back 565,000 shares at an average price of 2.4 euros. Its treasury shares now represent 6.76 percent of the total equity.