Fashion retailer reveals high profits
Italian fashion giant Benetton's managing director Silvano Cassano and finance director Pier Francesco Facchini have both quit - sending shares in Benetton sliding 7.8 per cent.

Concerning the resignations, the clothing giant said Cassano had 'completed the three-year rationalisation and reorganisation phase set out in his mandate', but will continue to be a member on the board of directors. The reasons for Facchini's departure were 'personal'.

The identity of who will take the position of managing director has not been confirmed, but, according to Benetton, 'among his objectives [is] the development of foreign markets, with particular attention to growth in Asia and other areas with a rapid demographic growth'.

The retailer hopes to have a chief executive in place for its next shareholder meeting in May.

Head of investor relations Mara Di Giorgi admitted that Cassano disagreed with Benetton's overseas expansion strategy, particularly in Asia, and had different visions on the growth of the company.

Benetton revealed group net revenues of Eu1,372 million (£929.6 million) for the first nine months of this year, a rise of Eu84 million (£56.9 million), compared to Eu1,288 million (£872.5 million) in the same period last year.

The board also unveiled industrial developments costing Eu70 million (£47.4 million). In particular, a Eu50 million (£33.9 million) investment to expand and strengthen the Italian logistic centre - to support the sector's most advanced technologies - and additional investments of about Eu20 million (£13.6 million) in the Tunisian manufacturing platform.

Commenting on the first nine months, Benetton co-founder and chairman Luciano Benetton said: 'With these results we can already say we have achieved the objectives that we set for this phase of the company's development.

'We are now ready to tackle a period in which we plan, in addition to strengthening areas where we are already present, renewed commitment to growth in emerging countries and, generally, in all countries with significant demographic growth.'