BUSINESS: Financial Luxottica Releases Preliminary Q4 and Year End 2013 Results, Reports Record $7.3B Sales By Staff Wednesday, January 29, 2014 12:23 AM MILAN—The board of directors of Luxottica Group S.p.A. (MTA: LUX; NYSE: LUX) has reviewed the consolidated net sales and preliminary results for the fourth quarter and full fiscal year of 2013. In the fourth quarter of 2013, net sales amounted to €1.65 billion, up 0.8 percent, compared to the results recorded in the same period of 2012 at €1.63 billion. Net sales for the full year 2013 set a new net sales record at €7.31 billion, an increase of 3.2 percent, compared to 2012 at €7.09 billion. According to the company, this result is attributable to “the solid organic growth which has been pursued with determination since the beginning of 2013 and throughout the entire year.” “We have closed another record year, achieving solid performances in 2013 across all of the geographic areas in which we operate, with peaks of excellence in emerging markets and Europe. Growth also continued in North America, where the Wholesale Division and Sunglass Hut achieved particularly positive results,” said Andrea Guerra, CEO of Luxottica. “Based on the strong increase in net sales, we do expect that the growth in the operating profitability of both Divisions and consequently of the Group will be aligned to the growth reported in the first nine months of 2013.” The Wholesale Division’s net sales for the fourth quarter of 2013 amounted to €644.2 million, marking an increase of 5.4 percent compared to the same quarter of 2012 at €611.3 million. The Division’s net sales for the full year were €2.99 billion, compared to €2.77 billion in the same period of 2012, an increase of 7.9 percent. Total net sales in North America for the full year 2013 increased by 3.5 percent in U.S. dollars, driven in particular by the outstanding performance of the Wholesale Division, which specifically was up 6.7 percent in U.S. dollars, the company said. The Wholesale Division as a whole grew each quarter throughout 2013, in particular, in emerging markets and the Travel Retail channel. Europe also delivered solid results, with significant growth especially in Germany and France. Net sales in the U.S. were positive for Ray-Ban as the company cited the brand’s performance globally. It also noted that Oakley exhibited a solid growth in Europe and reported strong, double-digit results in emerging markets. The launch of the Giorgio Armani eyewear collections was executed achieving results aligned to expectations, and the premium and luxury segment grew consistently throughout the year. In the fourth quarter of 2013, net sales for the Retail Division were €1.00 billion, down 1.9 percent over the same period in 2012 at €1.02 billion. The Retail Division’s comparable store sales grew by 3.0 percent over the same period in 2012 driven by emerging markets and Europe. The retail calendar in North America was affected in the quarter by a shorter number of shopping days for the sun segment of the Division and by less insurance days for LensCrafters. According to Luxottica, the fourth quarter of 2013 completes “a year of transition for LensCrafters” which reported comparable store sales down 1.6 percent in the quarter but up 1.0 percent for the full year 2013. Against this challenging retail backdrop, Sunglass Hut once again reported “stellar” performance in the fourth quarter and for the full year, with comparable store sales up by 5.1 percent and 5.9 percent respectively. For the full year 2013, the Retail Division reported net sales of €4,321 million which were flat for the full year 2012 at a reported 4.31 billion. Sunglass Hut had another year of growth, reporting total net sales which were up, with excellent trends in comparable store sales overall in the U.S., Europe, Australia, South Africa and Brazil during 2013. During the year, the Retail Division’s optical segment reported especially strong performance in emerging markets, most notably in China, Hong Kong and in Latin America, while strong performance was also reported by OPSM in Australia. “2014 looks like it will be another year when we believe that we will perform very well. Our engines of growth are clearly defined: a healthy portfolio of brands, an enlarged footprint covering world markets, and a team of people who are very efficient and motivated. To date, the beginning of 2014 is extremely encouraging,” concluded Guerra. Luxottica’s full 2013 financial results will be reviewed by the board of directors on Feb. 27, 2014 with a conference call the following day on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 at 3 PM EST for the financial community. The presentation will be available through a live webcast at www.luxottica.com.