BUSINESS: Financial Inspecs Group Reports First-Half Sales Gain and Progress Toward Increasing 'Distribution Reach' Worldwide By Staff Friday, August 19, 2022 12:21 AM BATH, England—Inspecs Group plc (LSE: SPEC), a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of eyewear, said this week that its revenue increased to $138.4 million in the six months ended June 30, from $125.7 million in the year-ago period. At constant exchange rates, revenue increased to $145.5 million, an increase of 15.8 percent, the company said in its interim results announcement. Inspecs said operating profit increased to $5.8 million from $2.5 million in the year-ago period. And the gross profit margin was 50.5 percent compared with 44.2 percent in the year-ago period (on an underlying basis 49.1 percent). The underlying EBITDA totaled $15.1 million, compared with $16.8 million. “The Group has made good progress against our strategic objectives during the period, specifically with the ongoing integration of the Group’s businesses and increasing our distribution reach around the globe,” chief executive officer Robin Totterman said in the announcement. “Our European business performed ahead of internal budget for the first half, however, our reported results were affected by a rapid decline in the Euro against the U.S. dollar in Q2, which is the current reporting currency of the Group. Given the evolution in Group global earnings since our IPO, the board will review the reporting currency with our advisors in 2023. Our Norville factory relocation incurred additional downtime and costs but is now fully operational and increasing production.” Totterman added, “Later this year we expect to start construction of our new factory in Portugal and increase our Vietnam production capacity through expansion, which will satisfy the increased demand from key accounts. Production is expected to begin towards the end of 2023, with distribution in Q1 of 2024. Our Group order books are ahead as of 30 June 2022 compared to 30 June 2021, and we enter the second half of the year in a good position. Whilst we remain cautious of the overall economic outlook for the UK and European market, we remain focused on executing a number of strategic priorities that will increase production, enabling us to bring innovative new products to market and continue to deliver shareholder value.” Among the other highlights of the first half cited by the company: Norville new factory now fully operational and “Labpack” distribution of complete frame and lens packages underway Planning permission and building design complete and approved on new factory in Vietnam Location for new Portugal factory sourced and building designed O’Neill, Superdry and Botaniq ranges now distributed by Group entities in the USA and Europe First delivery of lenses for Amazon’s own eyewear division in Q2 of 2022 Group companies working together to ensure enhanced distribution rates for our products Rationalization of Hong Kong offices now complete The Group has completed the registration of its products as medical devices with the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the European Database on Medical Devices (EUDAMED) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA.