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Luxottica grows in North America

25
Apr '08
The Board of Directors of Luxottica Group S.p.A a global leader in the design, manufacturing and distribution of premium fashion and luxury eyewear, convened in Milan by chairman Leonardo Del Vecchio, approved results as of and for the three-month period ended March 31, 2008(1).

Financial highlights for the period in accordance with U.S. GAAP are set forth below. A detailed balance sheet, income statements and other financial tables are attached to this press release.

Andrea Guerra, chief executive officer of Luxottica Group, commented: "We are pleased with our overall performance for the first three months of the current year. The Group grew significantly: +17% at constant exchange rates, due to the first effects of the integration of Oakley's business and to the organic growth of the Group all across the world.

In the U.S., we posted a positive quarter also including Oakley's results for the first quarter on a pro forma basis, which is an encouraging indicator for the remainder of the year.

"This quarter was characterized by a continued weakness of the U.S. currency, by the slowdown of the North American market and by the activities necessary to obtain great synergies from the new journey with Oakley.

In these circumstances and despite these factors, Group profitability performed well. Earnings per share before trademark amortization in US dollars was just 3% lower than the first quarter of 2007, a great quarter. That confirms an outstanding resilience of the Group to face more complicated macroeconomic trends.

"We expect that for the remainder of the year, especially in the second half, our business will have an opportunity to reap to an even greater degree the benefits of its leadership in the market, exploiting Oakley's seasonality and the new wholesale/retail mix resulting from the integration.

We have already implemented several business-specific as well as Group-wide initiatives to further improve our ability to capture and maximize opportunities for growth while further increasing cost controls, confirming a 5% of net sales investment plan for our future.


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