During the first six months of 2006, Lotto Sport Italia saw sales growth in each of its product categories, with leisure product making major strides. Sales of Lotto brand products increased 12.7% to €132.5 million ($162.7 mm) compared to €117.7 million ($151.9 mm) in 2005. Regionally, sales grew 5% in Italy, accounting for 28% of all sales, while Europe was up 14%, and Asia and North and South America combined for an 18% sales increase. France was up 6% and Spain grew 10%. Lotto pointed to investments made in Northern European market as the reason behind a 27% gain in Germany, a 93% gain in Holland, and a 64% gain in Austria. In Eastern Europe, Serbia led all countries, improving 224% over last year’s first half, while Romania was also strong, up 48%. In Africa and the Middle East, sales in Algeria more than doubled and Saudia Arabia saw sales grow at a 25% clip.

In terms of product assortment, apparel accounted for 56% of sales, shoes delivered 40% of revenues, and accessories accounted for the balance. Apparel saw the strongest growth of any product category, up 14%, due primarily to expanded sales of leisure product. Among the company’s core business, football (soccer) was its most successful sector (+20%) with the World Cup and Zhero Gravity, “the first laceless football boot in the world,” noted as growth drivers. Five-a-side football and tennis remained constant and, together with football, generated 45% of Lotto sales. Running was said to have grown 24%, while the entire leisure time sector was said to be up 7%.

After the strong first half, the company expects that its sales for the full year will amount to approximately €270 million with expected growth of 5%. Further out, the company said that orders in process for the 2007 summer season have increased 20% over last year.

Lotto also signed a license agreement with Pro Italy Mark for the Mexican market with sales in the region expected to expand from $10 million to $20 million within three years.