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Luxottica Announces Decreased Retail Performance in Australia and New Zealand PDF
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Friday, 31 October 2014

Luxottica has announced solid growth in net sales and profitability in the third quarter of 2014 and record free cash flow. Luxottica's adjusted net sales are up by 6.8% (+ 5.5% on a reported basis) and its wholesale division's net sales are up by 9.3%, at constant and current exchange rates. The retail division's comparable store sales are up by 4.4% with LensCrafters comparable store sales up by 2.5%, accelerating versus the second quarter. However, Luxottica's optical specialty chains in Australia and New Zealand reported a slightly decreased performance in comparable store sales, as a consequence of a more competitive and promotional environment. Sunglass Hut, the company's sun specialty chain, continued to contribute significantly, reporting a 7.4% increase in comparable store sales in the third quarter of 2014 on a global basis, after growing by 8.3% in the first half of the year. Contributions came from all geographic areas in which Sunglass Hut is located, including Australia and New Zealand.

Overall adjusted operating income for the company is up by 16.1% while adjusted net income increased by 17.5%, to Euro 173 million.

Essilor Reports Robust Growth in Australia PDF
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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Essilor has reported for the third quarter of this year sales up a strong 14.5% at constant exchange rates compared to previous year third quarter.

The company confirmed a further improvement in quarterly organic growth to 3.9%,  a swift momentum in the United States and fast-growing countries, and the integration of major acquisitions such as proceeding in line with objectives.

Performances by developed economies in the Asia-Pacific/Middle East/Africa region were mixed for Essilor. Japan's relatively weak performance was offset by Australia's robust growth, helped by the performance of the Crizal UV lens, which was endorsed by Cancer Council Australia for its protective action against harmful UV rays.

Marchon To Launch New ETRO EYEWEAR Collection PDF
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Thursday, 16 October 2014

Etro EyewearMarchon Eyewear has announced the launch of the new ETRO EYEWEAR collection, beginning in September 2015.

Etro and Marchon signed an exclusive licensing agreement to design, manufacture and distribute the sun and ophthalmic collections ETRO EYEWEAR. The partnership aims to further increase the already significant position of Etro in the accessories world.

"It's a significant debut that represents for us a new challenge, and that gives us new energy. It comes from the need of completeness: The creation of an eyewear line is a further step in our creative and stylistic path, which contributes to the strengthening of our brand identity and heritage," stated Jacopo Etro, Creative Director of the Etro Accessories collections.

Claudio Gottardi, Marchon Eyewear President and CEO, commented: "The global licensing agreement with Etro represents Marchon’s strategic goals to expand our portfolio with compelling European luxury brands. The team at our Italian Design and Product Development Center will work in collaboration with Etro’s designers to interpret and translate the strong identity of the fashion house, including the iconic paisley motif, in order to conceive sophisticated eyewear collections featuring the high quality of ‘Made in Italy’ manufacturing.”

The ETRO EYEWEAR collection, 100% Made in Italy as every Etro collection, will be available starting September 2015 in Etro boutiques, renowned department stores, and select optical and specialty stores worldwide.

Second Chief Resigns at Luxottica and Shares Dive PDF
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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

After less than two months on the job, Luxottica CEO Enrico Cavatorta has reportedly resigned over disagreements with the company's founder and chairman Leonardo Del Vecchio.

Early last month Luxottica announced an evolution to a co-CEO leadership structure with distinct and complementary responsibilities. At the meeting Andrea Guerra announced leaving Luxottica as Group CEO after a 10-year period of organizational consolidation and managerial growth. Enrico Cavatorta, who was at the time General Manager and CFO of the Group, was appointed CEO of Corporate Functions. He was also named as Interim CEO of Markets, pending the appointment of a permanent executive to this position. 

Today, Luxottica announced the appointment of Massimo Vian, current Chief Operations Officer, with the mandate of co-CEO for Operations and Product. The Chairman Leonardo Del Vecchio takes on the executive responsibilities ad interim while the co-CEO of Markets selection process is being finalized.

As a consequence of these events the share price of Luxottica dived almost 10% on Monday.

Vision-Ease Lens Acquired By Private Equity Firm PDF
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Thursday, 02 October 2014

Vision-Ease Lens has announced its acquisition by Wind Point Partners, a Chicago-based private equity investment firm. Details of the deal were not disclosed.

Vision-Ease Lens is a leading, global manufacturer of branded ophthalmic lenses, including clear, photochromic and polarized lenses in polycarbonate, hard resin, glass and high-index materials. Its products are sold wholesale and through independent and retail eye care locations worldwide.

"This recapitalization with Wind Point Partners will enable our long-term growth in some key areas, while continuing our excellence in day-to-day operations," said Doug Hepper, president and CEO of Vision-Ease Lens. "The leadership team is investing alongside Wind Point to expand our business capabilities within and adjacent to our core competencies. We will also be able to devote more resources to global growth."

Wind Point Partners is a leading private equity firm investing with experienced management in well-positioned companies that have strong growth potential.

"Vision-Ease Lens is a strong investment for our firm because of its long-standing stability and position as a market leader in value-added ophthalmic lenses, as well as the breadth of its products and strong brand reputation," said Nathan Brown, a managing director at Wind Point Partners. "We will contribute Wind Point’s expertise and resources to build on these core strengths with increased internal investment and acquisitions."

Safilo Expands Its Presence in Middle East PDF
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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

Safilo Group strengthens its presence in the Middle East markets with the opening of a locally incorporated company, fully owned by Safilo, in Dubai, UAE. The newly opened showroom and office in Dubai will serve all customers of the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia, and function as Safilo’s Headquarter of the new Middle East and Africa region.

The new Safilo Middle East Free Zone Establishment (FZE) is opening at the Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZ), ranked amongst the top free zones in the Middle East and in the world, this Saturday September 20th, 2014, in a ceremony attended by His Excellency the Ambassador of Italy Mr. Giorgio Starace, DAFZ Vice GM Mr. Nasser Al Madani and Safilo Group CEO Mrs. Luisa Delgado. It includes 200m² of Italian designed showroom and offices, to showcase the full collections of all the 24 brands in Safilo’s prestigious international brand portfolio.

Through its new direct presence, Safilo will be able to fully leverage the exceptional luxury retail opportunity that the Middle East region offers to its highest quality brand portfolio, to deepen its partnership with its key customers building mutual trust based on a long term commitment, and to gain closer local consumer understanding.

The Middle East represents one of the top two Global Retail Destinations (according to CBRE) behind London, and ahead of New York.

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