BUSINESS: Financial Luxottica Reports Record Preliminary Net Sales for Q4 and Full Year 2011 By Staff Wednesday, January 25, 2012 12:25 AM MILAN—The board of directors of Luxottica Group www.luxottica.com S.p.A. (MTA: LUX; NYSE: LUX), have released the preliminary consolidated net sales for the fourth quarter and full fiscal year of 2011 which show strong results on both the retail and wholesale sides and, according to the company, net sales that were “the highest ever achieved in the history of the group.” “2011 was a particularly important year in the history of Luxottica,” said Andrea Guerra, CEO of Luxottica. “On the one hand, we celebrated our 50th anniversary; on the other, we laid the foundation for lasting growth in the future as well. This trend is supported by our performance so far in 2012, both in terms of net sales and the orders portfolio.” Net sales in the fourth quarter of 2011 were €1,509.0 million, up 12.1 percent over 2010’s €1,346.5 million. Luxottica's results improved during the fourth quarter of 2011 in North America where consumer confidence continues to stay at strong levels, the company said. Net sales in the retail division for the fourth quarter were recorded at €952.9 million, up 14.4 percent over 2010’s fourth quarter at €833.0 million. In retail, LensCrafters and Sunglass Hut recorded the best results for the holiday season with comparable store sales for LensCrafters growing 4.8 percent over the same period in 2010 and Target’s comparable store sales growing 20.3 percent in this period. Comparable store sales for Sunglass Hut in the fourth quarter of 2011 were up overall by 10.8 percent and increased by 12.1 percent in the U.S. The wholesale division reported net sales of €556.2 million in the quarter versus €513.5 million in 2010, for an increase of 8.3 percent. Growth of the wholesale division also continued in all geographic areas in which the group operates, with excellent results recorded not only in North America, but also in emerging markets. Ray-Ban and Oakley sales performance was strong and the premium and luxury brands grew steadily throughout the year, with brands such as Chanel, Tiffany and Persol showing particular strength, according to the company. Consolidated net sales for the full year 2011 amounted to €6,222.5 million, never before seen in the history of Luxottica, the company said. Those results are up 7.3 percent when compared with the €5,798.0 million recorded in 2010. Wholesale net sales for the full year were €2,456.3 million up 9.8 percent from €2,236.4 in 2010. For the full year, net sales for the retail division were up by 5.7 percent to €3,766.1 million from €3,561.6 in 2010. The start of 2012 looks promising thus far as a result of the current level of orders for products and the positive reception of the Coach eyewear collection, a statement from the company said. The 2012 outlook for the retail division is positive with the consumer continuing to show confidence in the U.S.; while worldwide Sunglass Hut will continue to maximize opportunities in emerging markets. Additionally, as VMail reported on Dec. 1, 2011, Luxottica has completed the acquisition of eyewear manufacturer Grupo Tecnol Ltda in Brazil. “2012 is expected to provide a wealth of opportunities for Luxottica which we believe will yield even further growth. The first few days of the new year saw the launch of the Coach brand collection, which has been well received by customers. 2012 will also see us reap benefits from actions taken in 2011 which we believe will contribute to our growth in the future. These actions include our significant investments in Latin America where the GMO chain has joined the group and we have established the presence of Sunglass Hut in Mexico. We will continue to be simple and fast, to act decisively in all the areas where we are present, relying on our brand portfolio, our people, our investments in culture and technology and on our capacity to create even stronger relationships with customers and consumers,” concluded Guerra. The 2011 financial results will be reviewed by the board of directors on Feb. 28, 2012 and disclosed at 9:30 a.m. GMT the following day during a presentation to the financial community to be held in Milan. The presentation will be available via live webcast at www.luxottica.com.