Versace says no friction between Donatella and CEO

Mon May 25, 2009 4:47pm EDT
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MILAN (Reuters) - Italian fashion house Versace on Monday denied news reports there was friction between design head Donatella Versace and Chief Executive Giancarlo Di Risio.

Newspapers have speculated about Di Risio possibly leaving the company. Daily Il Sole 24 Ore last week said he and design head Donatella Versace were "close to a divorce" because of disagreement over strategy.

"With regards to the recent news items and articles that have appeared in the press, the board unanimously and categorically denies the existence of friction between the CEO and the Creative Director Donatella Versace regarding the necessary policy of cutting costs," the fashion house said in a statement.

Di Risio was hired at Versace in 2004.

Versace's board also approved first-quarter results, which showed a fall in revenues of 13.4 percent compared with last year "but with a positive net result."

April and May have shown an improvement, it said. The board also approved a three-year plan, focused on measures to adapt to the financial crisis.

Versace is owned by Donatella, her brother Santo and her daughter Allegra. The company, known for its Medusa-head logo and penchant for gold, last year turned in an 8.2 percent rise in revenues to 336 million euros ($470.2 million).

($1=.7145 Euro)

(Editing by Leslie Adler)

<p>Italian designer Donatella Versace arrives for the launch party of Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden, London March 17, 2009. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth</p>