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Emerging markets continue to perform well at Luxottica
Jan '10
The Board of Directors of Luxottica Group S.p.A., a leader in the design, manufacturing and distribution of premium fashion, luxury and sports eyewear, met to review consolidated sales results for the fourth quarter and full year 2009.

• Retail Division in North America posted a 0.9% growth in comparable store sales
• FY 09 saw continued strong cash flow generation and further reduction in net debt
• FY 09 consolidated sales again over the Euro 5 billion mark

Consolidated sales for the fourth quarter and FY 2009

In the fourth quarter of 2009, markets continued to stabilize. In particular, the final two months of the year saw encouraging signs of growth and were particularly positive for Luxottica. Thanks to these results, Luxottica's sales performance for the fourth quarter was the best of the year at constant exchange rates. On this basis, the Company expects a return to “normal” (in terms of sales growth, margin improvement and debt reduction) in FY 2010.

In particular, in November and December, consolidated sales were up by 4.7% over the same period the previous year, at constant exchange rates and adjusting for the additional week of sales(3). The signs of recovery seen in the third quarter in several geographies, including Western Europe and the United States, were reaffirmed in the fourth quarter. Emerging markets continued to perform well.

The fourth quarter also saw an improvement in comparable store sales(4) by the Retail Division in North America: up by 0.9% (up by 2.9% in November-December alone). This was followed by encouraging signs in the first weeks of 2010.

Thanks to positive results posted by both Divisions in all market segments, sales in US Dollars in North America for the fourth quarter started to grow again for the first time in the year, showing an increase by 5.9% over the same quarter last year, adjusted for the additional week of sales(3). After the gradual improvement throughout 2009, consolidated sales for the fourth quarter were Euro 1,149.4 million, up by 2.1% at constant exchange rates and when adjusted for the additional week of sales(3).

“Fiscal 2009 was a particularly demanding year and in many ways “unique” in the history of our Group,” said Andrea Guerra, chief executive officer of Luxottica Group. “The world around us underwent a structural re-adjustment, especially in the first half of the year, followed by stabilization and signs of recovery in the second half. In this scenario, Luxottica nevertheless produced solid results, with consolidated sales comfortably above Euro 5 billion and substantially in line with the previous year. These results, which were helped in a meaningful way by the double-digit growth seen by the Ray-Ban and Oakley brands, confirmed the strength of Luxottica's business model.

“The Group's performance in North America should also be noted, as this is a market of paramount importance for Luxottica. Following several quarters of hard work, for the fourth quarter both divisions were back to growth, laying the groundwork for further improvement in the business.

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