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Luxottica Reports "Dual Speed Performance" for its Retail Division in Australia PDF
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Companies
Wednesday, 21 January 2015

According to Luxottica, its Retail Division experienced in 2014 in Australia a "dual speed performance" from Sunglass Hut and OPSM. On the one hand, Sunglass Hut's comparable store sales grew by 8.5%, with the fourth quarter in line with the previous quarters. On the other hand, OPSM was negatively affected by an increasingly competitive environment, recording an increase in comparable store sales of 1.7% for the full year, reflecting a slowdown in the second half of the year.

Luxottica closed fiscal 2014 with an increase in adjusted net sales of 5.3% (+6.7% at constant exchange rates), to over Euro 7.6 billion. The Wholesale and Retail divisions both contributed to the Luxottica's strong results, growing by 8.6% and adjusted 5.4%, respectively, at constant exchange rates. Ray-Ban, in particular, continued to record double-digit growth. These results were also driven by the performance of Luxottica’s major retail chains, especially Sunglass Hut's sustained growth worldwide (total sales +13.5% at constant exchange rates) and LensCrafters' progressive quarterly sales improvement.

Luxottica's Board of Directors also appointed Adil Mehboob-Khan as CEO for Markets and Massimo Vian as CEO for Product & Operations.

 
Rodenstock Takes Jil Sander License From Marchon PDF
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Friday, 16 January 2015

Jil Sander - RodenstockJil Sander and Rodenstock have announced their strategic licensing agreement in eyewear. The women's and men's collection for the brand JIL SANDER 2015 will be available for the first time. With this agreement, Rodenstock has been granted an exclusive worldwide license for the design, manufacture and distribution of sun and prescription eyewear for the collection of JIL SANDER.

"The fashion of Jil Sander is known for its perfection and their design," said Alessandro Cremonesi, managing director of Jil Sander. Cooperation with Rodenstock is further evidence of our holistic approach to quality and innovation, we want to pass on to our customers worldwide."

"We look forward to working closely with Jil Sander. Their high standards of quality and design blends perfectly into the values of Rodenstock. The premium brand is the epitome of feminine fashion and therefore the right complement to our traditionally male-oriented brand portfolio", says Oliver Kastalio, CEO of the Rodenstock Group.

The new collection has been developed in cooperation with Rodolfo Paglialunga, creative director at Jil Sander. The design and product range reflects the sophisticated and luxurious world of the brand JIL SANDER.

The Jil Sander collection will be available at retail stores and in Jil Sander online stores from May 2015.

 
Bayer Receives Approval for EYLEA in Diabetic Macular Edema in Japan PDF
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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Bayer HealthCare has received approval from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) in Japan for EYLEA® (aflibercept solution for injection) for the treatment of patients with diabetic macular edema (DME).

"Clinically significant DME is a leading cause of vision loss in the working age population suffering from diabetes. In Japan, the retirement age tends to be rising due to declining birthrates and aging population. The loss of even a single line of letters on ETDRS eye chart may impact a patient's ability to work, and could mean they leave the workforce early," said Dr. Joerg Moeller, Member of the Bayer HealthCare Executive Committee and Head of Global Development. "The approval of EYLEA in Japan in this important indication is great news for the increasing number of patients suffering from DME."

The approval of EYLEA for DME in Japan is based on positive data from the VIVID-DME and VISTA-DME studies and one open label single arm safety trial in Japanese patients (VIVID-Japan). In the Phase III VIVID-DME and VISTA-DME trials, aflibercept solution for injection 2 milligrams (mg) dosed monthly and aflibercept solution for injection 2 mg dosed every two months (after 5 initial monthly injections), achieved the primary endpoint of significantly greater improvements in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) from baseline compared to laser photocoagulation at 52 weeks. Further, patients treated with aflibercept solution for injection every two months on average gained more than two lines of vision at one year vs laser, as measured on the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Scale (ETDRS) eye chart, a standard chart used in research to measure visual acuity. 

EYLEA® has been approved in more than 80 countries for the treatment of patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration and more than 60 countries for the treatment of visual impairment due to macular edema secondary to central retinal vein occlusion. EYLEA is also approved for the treatment of DME in over 30 countries. In Japan, EYLEA has been additionally approved for the treatment of myopic choroidal neovascularization. Applications for marketing authorization have also been submitted in Europe and Japan based on the data from Phase III in patients with branch retinal vein occlusion. Over two million doses of EYLEA have been administered since launch worldwide.

Bayer HealthCare and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. are collaborating on the global development of EYLEA. Regeneron maintains exclusive rights to EYLEA in the United States. Bayer HealthCare has licensed the exclusive marketing rights outside the United States, where the companies share equally the profits from sales of EYLEA. In Japan Regeneron receives a percentage of net sales.

 
Intel Invests In Vuzix To Develop Smart Eyewear PDF
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Tuesday, 06 January 2015

Vuzix Corporation, a leading supplier of video eyewear and smart glasses products in the consumer, commercial and entertainment markets, announced that Intel Corporation has made a US$24.8 million investment into the Company. Vuzix' wearable display technology is focused on next generation optics and displays that have the potential to fit in fashion-based wearable glasses. Intel's investment will be used for general working capital to accelerate the introduction of Vuzix next generation fashion-based wearable display products into the consumer market.

Intel purchased 49,626 of Vuzix' Series A Preferred Stock, which are convertible into 4,962,600 shares of Vuzix' common stock at an initial conversion price of $5.00 per share, subject to adjustment in the event of stock splits, dividends or other combinations. The shares issuable upon conversion of the Series A Preferred Stock represent approximately 30 percent of Vuzix total outstanding stock, assuming full conversion of the Series A Preferred Stock. As holders of Series A Preferred Stock, Intel has the right to vote with the holders of Common Stock on an as-converted basis, and has the right to appoint two members to Vuzix' Board of Directors, in addition to the Company's current five members.

Intel seems to be betting big on wearable tech as it has now invested in several Google Glass competitors and recently announced a multiyear R&D collaboration with Luxottica to fuse premium, luxury and sports eyewear with smart technology.

 
Luxottica and Tory Burch Renew Eyewear License PDF
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Companies
Monday, 05 January 2015

Luxottica Group and Tory Burch LLC, an American lifestyle brand, have announced the renewal of an exclusive license agreement. Under the ten-year agreement, Luxottica will design, manufacture and distribute sun and prescription eyewear globally under the Tory Burch brand through December 31, 2024.

"Tory Burch is an incredibly successful brand that we strongly believe in. Together we have been able to translate its continuous brand awareness growth and its powerful identity into the eyewear space" said Massimo Vian, CEO of Luxottica Group. "We are excited to continue our partnership as this license fits extremely well into our brand portfolio".

Tory Burch, Chairman, Co-CEO & Designer of Tory Burch, said, "Luxottica has been a great partner and we are thrilled to be continuing our relationship. We look forward to working with them to introduce new designs and further grow our business in this important category."

 
PlanetVA Launches In-store Eyewear Dispensing Tablet App VM Retailer PDF
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Monday, 22 December 2014

VM Retailer AppAustralian company PlanetVA Pty Ltd, sponsor of eyesmart.com.au, has always positioned itself as a facilitator of new technology to optical retailers and has initially refrained from doing business with pure online optical websites. However, what is happening in the industry today is that online optical retailers have established or are starting to establish bricks-and-mortar stores and vice versa. As a consequence, PlanetVA has decided not to restrict its offerings to bricks-and-mortars anymore. It aims to facilitate optical retailers with latest technologies to serve their clients better.

With shoppers relying more on smartphones, tablets and with advances in online shopping, the traditional retailer is sometimes portrayed as being in a death spiral. However, technology cuts both ways and connectivity has provided retailers and brand owners with new opportunities to engage.

In their next generation of tablet apps PlanetVA provides an opportunity for optical retailers to improve perceived value for their clients. VM Retailer, the tablet app launched today, offers an innovative way to further enhance existing relationships between eyewear suppliers, optical retailers, and clients. It is a fast and cost efficient way to communicate the latest eyewear collections to clients resulting in increased buyer's confidence.

PlanetVA also leverages the ever growing existing eyewear database available to VM Retailer users to provide Virtual Mirror (VMO 3D) functionalities to eyewear suppliers' and optical retailers' websites. This results in an omni-channel retailing – joining up the customer experience across all channels, not separating it across individual ones – experience. The eyewear database is also continuously updated and the content depends on feedback received from local optical retailers and their suppliers.

In this first version of VM Retailer, clients will be guided by an optical retailer expert who uses the app. In the next major version, PlanetVA will add functionality to allow clients independently use the app based on the optical retailer's preferred settings. That would give the optical dispenser more time available for clients who have already narrowed down their choices. It would also give clients a valuable service with immediate results, while the retailer gets a chance to sell its product. It is a great technological solution for those clients who prefer (initially) not to speak to a sales person.

VM Retailer is available for iOS and Android tablets. For more information on VM Retailer and to download the app goto: planetva.com/products-services/vmr

 
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