The biggest eyewear supplier to the duty free and travel retail channel, Luxottica, saw its sales in the first half of the year rise by +15.1% (+9.0% at current exchange rates) while operating income rose slightly faster at +17.5% (see table below). Sales in the period reached €3,670.4 million (US$4,490m) and operating income hit €569.1 million (US$696m).
The Sunglass Hut chain, which has a strong presence in airports, and sunglasses in general, were specifically cited as drivers of the business.
Andrea Guerra, Chief Executive Officer of Luxottica (left), says: “The organisational changes we have made over the years are paying off. In particular, Sunglass Hut once again increased sales (by) +11.7% on a comparable store sales basis. Sunglasses are a key driver of business growth in the US for Luxottica. Despite the fact that the US market is smaller and less mature as compared to Europe, it keeps growing.”
As well as the good performance in the US (+8% in US$), emerging markets grew +35% in the first half of the year. “We are growing our business everywhere and continuing to invest in order to transform our presence in an increasingly structural manner, in particular in China, India, Brazil, Mexico and Eastern Europe,” adds Guerra.
Above: Sunglass Hut at Auckland Airport
The story in Western Europe has been nowhere near as good with growth at +1%, which Luxottica puts down to the macroeconomic climate. Within the region the company says that Continental Europe’s performance was very good, France remained positive, but the Mediterranean was negative.
Guerra concludes: “This year, we have arrived at the half-way point very satisfied. We worked in a determined manner in all of the geographic areas in which we operate, achieving the objectives we had pre-established. We are confident that these half-year results constitute a solid foundation for reaching our full-year 2012 objectives, although 2012 is clearly harder to predict.”
1 All comparisons, including percentage changes, refer to the three months and the six months ended June 30, 2012 and June 30, 2011, respectively.
2 Figures given at constant exchange rates have been calculated using the average exchange rate of the respective comparative period in the previous year.