BUSINESS: Financial Safilo Releases Q3 and YTD 2012 Results By Staff Wednesday, November 07, 2012 12:20 AM PADUA, Italy—The board of directors of Safilo Group’s S.p.A. (SFL.MI) has approved the financial results of the third quarter and first nine months of 2012, ended Sept. 30. In the third quarter of 2012, the group’s net sales reached €249.1 million, growing 8.2 percent compared to €230.2 million recorded in the third quarter of 2011. According to the company, the performance of the period benefitted from the sales increase of sunglasses and prescription frames, the consolidation of Polaroid Eyewear and the appreciation of the U.S. dollar. The first nine months of 2012 ended with net sales equal to €862.4 million, increasing by 3.5 percent compared to €833.5 million registered in the same period of 2011. “Throughout the third quarter, we continued to work with determination along our operating and strategic guidelines that are translating into an organic growth of our core business. Our main focus has been on the sales growth of the go-forward brands, on the further international expansion of Safilo’s brands, on the Polaroid integration and on minimizing the negative impact of the Armani loss,” said Roberto Vedovotto, CEO of Safilo Group. “In addition, Safilo continued to register a positive operating performance despite the phasing-out of the Armani licenses and a solid financial profile also in light of cash flow generation. During the last quarter, we continued to strengthen and to foster the visibility of Safilo brands. Despite the current challenging market conditions, we remain focused on the implementation of our strategy and believe that today’s challenges represent the best opportunities of the future,” he concluded. The wholesale business registered an increase of 7.8 percent at €228.2 million compared to €211.6 million of the third quarter of 2011. At the end of September, sales for the wholesale business were equal to €800.9 million, up 2.9 percent compared to €778.4 million of the first nine months of 2011. Confirming the trends highlighted in the previous quarters of the year, the retail business, represented by Solstice stores in the U.S., registered a like for like sales growth of 6.2 percent. In the third quarter of 2012 the chain, which counted 134 stores compared to 156 at the end of September 2011, recorded sales of €20.9 million compared to €18.6 million in the same quarter of 2011. From a geographical standpoint, in the U.S., the business grew thanks to the good sales trend of the main department stores, which added to the positive business performance of the independent opticians’ channel, the company said. Sales in the American market reached €363.7 million compared to €343.6 million in the first nine months of 2011, up 5.8 percent, with the contribution deriving from Solstice stores equal to €61.5 million, an increase of 11.6 percent. Safilo recorded an improvement of the group’s net result, negative in the quarter by €0.6 million compared to the loss of €4.7 million registered in the same period of 2011. In the first nine months of 2012, the group’s net profit amounted to €20.9 million compared to €26.6 million in the first nine months of 2011, recording a less significant contraction compared to the one highlighted in the first six months of 2012. The group’s net debt at the end of September 2012 was equal to €223.8 million, down around €14.5 million compared to the end of December 2011 and €15.6 million compared to the end of September 2011.