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Luxottica sees strong growth in net sales for 2008 and a new retail concept receives high marks PDF
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Tuesday, 05 August 2008
Luxottica is continuing to invest in growth in both its retail and wholesale divisions despite a tough worldwide economic climate that depressed its retail sales by 9.1 percent and its net income by 14.2 percent in this year's second quarter, although the company's wholesale division posted a 21.9 percent increase in the second quarter of this year.

In terms of brands, both Ray-Ban and Oakley posted another strong quarter, while luxury brands showed some signs of weakness as a result of the overall challenging environment. In particular, Ray-Ban continued to grow due, in part, to the strength of the Wayfarer, which is now the second best-selling model worldwide. Oakley, on the other hand, was outstanding across all regions, due, in part, to strong performances by its athletes and anticipation of the brand’s expected strong visibility at the upcoming Olympics in Beijing.

The merger with Oakley is one of the most important developments in our business of recent years. Only twelve months after the announcement of the transaction, the new journey on which the Group has embarked continues to make significant progress: the integration of the European portion of the Oakley business was completed as of the end of the second quarter; the new teams are already on the ground and making a difference; the sports channel is ready; the new emerging markets structure is up and running; the focus within retail has been on cross-selling opportunities at LensCrafters and Sunglass Hut and the integration of Oakley’s retail chains Sunglass Icon and Bright Eyes into Luxottica’s existing retail structure. Finally, most other phase one projects, including sourcing and sun lens strategy, have either been completed or are nearing completion.

Management now expects that one-time charges in connection with the merger with Oakley will be a total of €20 million, compared with the previously expected €25 million, resulting in a slightly lower impact of these charges on the second half of this year.

In other news, two new retail store formats launched by Luxottica within the last 10 months are having strong initial results so far this year, despite the lagging worldwide economic climate. Luxottica is also receiving very possitive feedback from customers of the N3L store that features virtual try-on technology as well as opportunities for customers to test sun lenses in different lighting conditions and various sports environments.
Join Justin Norris and Splash out for RIDBC Hunter PDF
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Australian News
Monday, 04 August 2008
Australian swimming superstar, Justin Norris (picture), is putting out his yearly call to join him on Sunday 31 August at the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children's (RIDBC) Hunter Splash swimathon.

“I'm always thrilled to be an ambassador for Hunter Splash, and I encourage my fellow Novocastrians to get behind this year's event,” Justin Norris said.

“Getting involved is as easy as finding some sponsors, jumping in the pool and swimming some laps. Or you can always choose to sponsor another swimmer instead. All money raised supports local kids with vision or hearing impairment.“

“Swimmers of all ages and abilities are encouraged to take part.“

2008 will be the fourth year that the dual Olympian, Olympic Medallist and Triple Commonwealth Gold Medallist has supported the event.

Hunter Splash takes place on Sunday 31 August at The Forum Sports and Aquatic Centre, University of Newcastle.

Now in its sixth year, the swimathon raises funds to support RIDBC’s education programs based at Floraville.

RIDBC Hunter's programs include a preschool, early learning program, parent support groups and early learning groups for children with sensory impairment and their families.

RIDBC Hunter currently supports 41 local children. There are some great prizes up for grabs for teams and individual entrants in Hunter Splash's junior and open age categories. To register for Hunter Splash, or to make a donation, please visit or contact event coordinator Alan Carter on 4946 1529.

Hunter Splash is proudly supported by Oakvale Wines, Justin Norris Swim Academy, BridgeClimb, McDonalds, Clark Rubber - Warners Bay, Lings Quality Trophies, De Lorenzo and Montage Sound Studios.

The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) relies heavily on community support and events like the Hunter Splash to continue making a difference in children's lives in the Hunter region.
Safilo reports profit fall for first half of 2008 PDF
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Monday, 04 August 2008
Safilo's performance of the first six months of the year has suffered from the ever more marked weakness of the US dollar which, compared to the first half 2007, lost around 15% of its value to the single European currency.

The Group, that registers around 40% of its business in dollars, has seen its sales penalised as a result of the negative impact of exchange rates. At constant currencies, net sales in the first half in fact registered a growth of 1.3% compared to the same period of the previous year, while in the second quarter the improvement reached 1.8%.

The American market, at constant exchange rates, achieved double digit growth, thanks both to the consolidation of the new retail stores and the Sunglass Island chain in Mexico, and the good increase in volumes of prescription frames and sunglass sales in the wholesale business.

Asia also achieved double digit growth in the period at constant exchange rates, with particularly brilliant results in the Chinese and Korean markets.

During the second quarter the Group also began implementation of its retail strategy in Asia. In the same period, the European market has instead experienced a further slowdown, and seen a reduction in the re-assortments of the main prescription frame and sunglass collections in the most important countries of the area.

Source: Safilo
Vision Australia and ANZ Bank continue to make more information accessible PDF
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Australian News
Friday, 01 August 2008
Vision Australia continues to work with the ANZ Bank on a project to make widely used Product Disclosure information accessible for people with a print disability.

"Our production teams at Kooyong and Enfield have done a great job to produce the accessible format materials to the high standard required by the ANZ Bank, meeting all the challenges involved" says Tricia Cooney, Strategic Business Development Manager.

ANZ is the first Bank in Australia to provide such a service and Vision Australia supports and applauds this initiative.

People with a print disability now have independent access to the terms and conditions of their arrangements with the Bank.
Red contact lenses to improve vision during the Olympics PDF
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Feature Story
Friday, 01 August 2008
Great Britain's women's hockey team are hoping to improve their vision by wearing red contact lenses in the build-up to the Beijing Olympics.

With concern rising over the levels of smog in Beijing, which can reduce visibility to a few hundred metres, the team is trying to combat the issue.

Smog is seen by the human eye as a red colour, and the red lenses force the eye to filter out red light. That could mean clearer vision for some of the players wearing the lenses.

The team are currently based in Macau, Hong Kong, where they have been testing the eyewear.
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