Aug 12, 2010
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Finnish fashion house Marimekko expands abroad

Aug 12, 2010

HELSINKI, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Finnish clothing and textiles group Marimekko (MMO1V.HE), made famous by Jackie Kennedy in the 1960s, reported a 44 percent drop in second-quarter operating profit as it invested to expand abroad.

Marimekko A/W 2010

The company known for its bright prints and simple lines said on Thursday it would open new showrooms and stores in the United States, Sweden, Germany and South Korea this year to build on a wider economic recovery for future growth.

"I have great confidence in the development of Marimekko's business," Chief Executive Mika Ihamuotila said in a statement.

"Our focus will be on developing the product selection and opening new stores and distribution channels in the United States, northern Europe and east Asia."

Shares in Marimekko fell 3.2 percent to 11.05 euros by 0902 GMT, underperforming a flat wider Finnish market .OMXHPI, after the company's operating profit of 0.6 million euros ($0.8 million) missed all estimates in a Reuters poll.

Sales in the April-June quarter fell 1.6 percent to 15.7 million euros, also missing all the poll estimates.

Marimekko has been expanding since narrowly avoiding bankruptcy in the 1980s. Its clothes and fabrics have since featured in the hit U.S. television series Sex and the City.

The company stuck to its guidance for roughly flat 2010 sales and operating profit. ($1=.7759 Euro)

(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

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