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FGX sees very strong sales & earnings growth in 2007
21
Feb '08
FGX International, a leading designer and marketer of non-prescription reading glasses, sunglasses and costume jewelry, announced financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 29, 2007.

CEO Alec Taylor stated, "We experienced very strong sales and earnings growth during the quarter excluding the effect of the year ago roll-out of major new programs to a large retailer.

This growth was primarily driven by our Foster Grant and Magnivision brands. We also had excellent gross margin improvement and we substantially reduced our debt versus the prior year."

Mr. Taylor stated, "We are pleased to report strong growth in sales and earnings for the full year of 2007. Additionally, our gross margins increased significantly year-over-year demonstrating our continued commitment to profitable growth.

These results are a clear indication of the inherent strengths of our core brands and are especially noteworthy given the current uncertain retail environment."

The Company's overall results for the full year were driven by the performance of the Company's Foster Grant and Magnivision brands, same store sales increases at most major accounts, and strong performance in Canada across all categories. These results were offset by lower jewelry sales due to the Company's decision to forgo lower margin promotional business from a major customer.

In the fourth quarter of 2007, gross margin as a percentage of net sales improved to 56.8% versus 49.9% in the comparable period for the prior year.

Capital expenditures for fiscal 2007 were $15.5 million compared to $10.9 million in the previous year. The increase was due to the Company's continued capital investment in store displays to support incremental sales volume in 2007.

Free Cash Flow, defined as EBITDA less capital expenditures, was $10.3 million during the fourth quarter of 2007 compared to $13.8 million during the same period in 2006.

For the full year of 2007, Free Cash Flow was $33.5 million compared to $30.7 million in 2006. The same factors discussed in the highlights above impacted the Company's Free Cash Flow for the fourth quarter and full year of 2007.


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