UPDATE 1-Bulgari sees improvement in April after Q1 loss
* Q1 net loss 29.3 mln euros
* Q1 revs down 23.1 pct
* Sees improvement in own store sales in April
(Adds quotes, details)
MILAN, May 12 (Reuters) - Italy's Bulgari BULG.MI posted improved sales in its own stores in April after a first-quarter net loss, hurt by the financial crisis sapping demand for luxury jewellery, watches and perfumes.
The Rome-based jeweller, which celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, said the financial crisis hurt first-quarter results and that it was carrying out "effective actions" regarding costs and investments.
"In April the Group has registered a clear sign of improvement in the sales of the directly owned stores, although an important contribution came from the high jewellery segment," Chief Executive Francesco Trapani said in a statement.
"To a lesser extent, an improvement has been registered also in the third party distribution."
In a telephone interview with Reuters, Trapani said own stores saw a "mid to high-single digit rise" in April sales.
Bulgari said it had a first-quarter net loss of 29.3 million euros ($39.94 million), compared with a net profit of 22.8 million euros a year ago.
Revenues fell 23.1 percent to 178.1 million euros. Bulgari said the sales performance in own stores was significantly better than the one registered in the wholesale channel -- where vendors carried out aggressive de-stocking in the first three months of the year.
Shares closed down 2.35 percent at 4.15 euros before the statement came out.
(Editing by David Cowell)
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