BUSINESS: Financial Luxottica Reports Record Sales of €7.09B in Fiscal 2012 By Staff Wednesday, January 30, 2013 12:26 AM MILAN— Luxottica S.p.A. (NYSE: LUX) reported a record year for fiscal 2012, with its overall net sales for the period rising 13.9 percent over the prior year to reach €7.09 billion. The company also cited its North American wholesale group’s performance in reporting its overall wholesale division’s full year results of €2.77 billion, a 12.9 percent increase company-wide. The wholesale division in 2012 showed a 15 percent increase in North America over the prior full year. Luxottica’s retail division’s overall sales climbed by 14.5 percent to €4.31 billion. Comparable store sales in North America rose by 6 percent and in the emerging countries by 11 percent, while comparable store sales for the OPSM retail chain in Australia recorded an increase of approximately 10 percent. Luxottica CEO, Andrea Guerra, said in a statement “We have excellent growth opportunities since we operate in a young industry and have the chance to increase the overall penetration of our products in the international markets. A number of sales channels are newly developed, such as travel retail, department stores and e-commerce. In addition, we consider on the one hand the aging population and on the other hand the ability to create new areas for development. We believe that some of our businesses could expand by more than 10 percent also in 2013—one only need to look to the emerging countries and the extraordinary success achieved in these markets in recent years.” Guerra mentioned, “The key growth drivers are the company’s Ray-Ban and Oakley brands, our portfolio of pure excellence in the luxury segment with the newly added Giorgio Armani brand, international expansion of the Sunglass Hut chain and the enormous growth of the ‘optical’ segment worldwide.” He added, “The rate of growth witnessed throughout the year, with excellent performances, rewarded the group's commitment to customers and consumers. The initial results for 2013, and for North America in particular, continue to present strong growth prospects.” The company said its fourth-quarter net sales rose 8.2 percent to €1.63 billion from €1.51 billion a year earlier. In the fourth quarter of 2012, the company said that Sunglass Hut, the Group’s sun specialty chain, saw comparable store sales up by 10 percent in the quarter. Significant results were also reported in South Africa (+18.3 percent), Mexico (+19.1 percent) and North America (+10.1 percent), where comparable store sales showed double-digit growth for the third consecutive year. LensCrafters reported solid performance during the “insurance season,” the company noted, which includes the first week of January 2013, with comparable store sales up by 3.6 percent . This growth also continued into the weeks thereafter. In fiscal 2012, Luxottica’s North America retail calendar ended on Dec.29, thus curtailing sales during the last week of 2012 and favoring the first week of 2013. As a result, LensCrafters comparable store sales increased approximately 1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the prior comparable period. Luxottica also bought French eyewear maker Alain Mikli, reporting separately, that it had closed that transaction, which had been announced in November 2012, on Jan. 23. The company also bought an interest in Italian optical retailer, Salmoiraghi Vigano in late 2012, as reported. The 2012 financial results will be reviewed by the Luxottica board on Feb. 28 and discussed the following day, March 1 during a presentation to the financial community. The presentation will be available via live webcast on www.luxottica.com.