Geox reported a 4% rise in first-half revenues but a fall in net profit as it opened more stores around the world. The Italian shoe company also confirmed its target for 2009 sales “broadly in line” with last year's levels.

Geox's first-half revenues rose 4% to 482.9 million euros ($681.7mm). Net profit was 64.6 million euros ($91.2mm), down from 78.6 million euros ($111.0mm) a year ago. The figure was adjusted for non-cash, non comparable costs, it said.  Footwear sales, which represent 90% of turnover, rose 1.2% to 438.3 million euros ($618.8mm) , while apparel sales rose 43% to 44.6 million euros (63mm).

Geox is targeting 2009 sales in line with the 892.5 million euros ($1.27 billion) in 2008.

It expects the EBITDA margin below last year's by no more than 200 basis points.

“Based on the sales achieved in the first half and on the positive start of the Autumn/Winter season, I believe that Geox (full-year) sales will be broadly in line with those of 2008,” Chairman Mario Moretti Polegato said in a statement.

The company said Autumn/Winter orders were down 9%. When Geox presented first-quarter results in May, orders for the collection were down 13%, with one of the reasons being a cautious credit/trade policy.

They were down 4% in Italy and down 15% for Europe. They were up 6% in North America but off 15% in the rest of the world. For footwear, orders were down 12% while for apparel they were up 7%.

Polegato said Geox tighteningits “already streamlined” supply and distribution chain. The company is reducing costs by shutting down non-performing stores and is also shutting two factories.

Geox opened 57 new stores in the first half of the year and is targeting a total 120-130 new openings for the year, according to Reuters.