Moulin International's turnover for the 6 months ended June 30 were down 2 percent to HK$603.0 million (€66.6m?$77.9m), but its net profit rose by 21 percent to HK$83.1 million (€9.2m?$10.8m), These figures are compared to the 6 months ended Sept. 30, 2002, due to a change in the fiscal year.

The sales decrease was attributed mainly to the discontinuance of licenses that were ?not positioned to leverage the core strengths of the group.? Wholesale distribution, chiefly through Metzler International, accounted for HK$350 million in the latest period (e38.7m-$45.2m), or 58 percent of turnover. The slow economy, particularly in Germany, was blamed for an 8 percent fall in European wholesale revenues to HK$177 million (e19.6m-$22.9m).

Some advanced production technology was moved from the Czech Republic and Italy to China, and the group is now busy improving warehousing and logistics. A new 7,000-square-foot logistic hub in Hong Kong and a 30,000-square-foot warehouse at Chaoyang in the Guandong province should be complete early next year, and the group is now planning to establish a centralized European logistic platform in the Czech Republic, which will be joining the European Union next May.

Wholesale revenues in the USA dropped by 5 percent to HK$53 million (e5.9m-$6.8m). Distribution operations in Asia-Pacific were stable at HK$32 million (e3.5m-$4.1m). Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia performed well, while numbers in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore were slightly affected by SARS. Revenues in China progressed 13 percent in distribution to HK$88 million (e9.7m-$11.4m) and 3 percent in retail to HK$40 million (e4.4m-$5.2m). The growth was due to the introduction of brands such as United Colors of Benetton, Aigner, and Kappa. The group opened 5 new America's Eyes optical stores taking its network to 32 doors. Plans are to open only two or three more stores in 2003, but to accelerate growth of door count in 2004.

The ODM/OEM business stayed the same at HK$213 million (e23.5m-$27.5m), maintaining its operating margin at over 40 percent, but winning new accounts in Eastern Europe and South America. In addition to its acquisition of NiGuRa, the medium-priced frame subsidiary of Rodenstock (see previous article), which reinforces the group's mission to be a ?Chinese factory with brands,? Metzler is reportedly taking on a license for the casual Robe di Kappa brand through Metzler International Italia, i.e. the former Filos Group. The development of the line will take place at Filos' premises in Northern Italy.