MILAN, July 30 (Reuters) - Italy's Yoox said it expected business to grow this year after posting broadly flat first-half core earnings with higher sales offset by rising costs, as the online fashion retailer prepares for a merger with rival Net-a-Porter.
Yoox said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was 18.2 million euros ($19.86 million), in line with a Thomson Reuters SmartEstimate and up 1.6 percent from a year earlier.
Sales rose 20 percent to 284.6 million euros, with the strong dollar driving North American sales sharply higher. Analysts had looked for 282 million euros in first-half sales. At constant exchange rates, revenue was up 15 percent.
Yoox said its net profit was 0.1 million euros after 5 million euros of extraordinary charges linked to the merger, which is expected to close in October.
Earlier this month, shareholders in Yoox approved its merger with Net-a-Porter, which is part of Swiss luxury group Richemont , in an all-share deal that will create an industry leader in the booming online luxury market. ($1 = 0.9163 euros) (Reporting by Valentina Za, editing by Steve Scherer)