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Bono, Ali Hewson's ethical fashion firm in red to tune of (EU)6.8m for 2011

Irish Times, September 03, 2012
By: Suzanne Lynch

 

EDUN APPAREL, the ethical clothing company owned by Bono and his wife Ali Hewson, made a loss of $8.5 million (€6.8 million) last year.

Accounts just filed for the year ended December 2011 show the company, which is 49 per cent owned by the world's largest luxury goods group LVMH, had net liabilities of $29 million (€23 million) at year-end.

Separately, accounts for UFIP (Ireland) – the Irish-registered firm through which LVMH holds its interest in Edun – show LVMH wrote down its $8.5 million investment in the clothing company by $7 million in 2010.

In 2009, the Paris-headquartered group invested $8.5 million in Edun Apparel, which was founded in 2005.

It represented the first foray into ethical fashion by the company, which owns some of the world's top luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Moët Chandon, Veuve Clicquot champagne and designer brand Donna Karan.

Edun designs, manufactures and sells mainly organic cotton clothes, sourcing its product primarily from Africa. Its mission is to bring about "positive change through its trading relationship with Africa," according to its website.

Edun's 2011 accounts show that the company had a shareholders' deficit of $29.2 million at the end of December 2011, up from $20.6 million the previous year.

It also had a 100 per cent shareholding in subsidiary company Edun Americas.

Edun is financed by way of shareholders' loans, the accounts state, which totalled $36.2 million at year-end, up from $24.4 million the previous year.

Accounts for UFIP show that the company's main debt at the end of 2010 was a loan of just under $12 million issued to Edun Apparel, which is not interest-bearing and is not due for repayment until 2024.

The directors of UFIP include Antonio Belloni, group managing director of LVMH, and Matthieu Brisset, head of business development.

The most recent results for LVMH show that sales rose by 15 per cent to €23.6 billion in 2011, mainly on the back of strong growth in Asia and a strong performance by its designer brand Louis Vuitton.

Net income rose 1 per cent to €3.07 billion during the same period.

Bono and his wife Ali Hewson have featured in Louis Vuitton's "Core Values' advertising campaign, wearing clothes from Edun.

Other celebrities who have taken part in the campaign include Sean Connery and Angelina Jolie.

(c) Irish Times, 2012.

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