REPORT_ In the first quarter of 2014, group’s net sales were 1.8 billion euros (2.4 billion dollars), up by 4.2 percent at constant exchange rates. Company’s wholesale division’s net sales increased up 7.9 percent at constant exchange rates. Europe exceeded expectations with 7.3 percent rise at constant exchange rates. North America continued progress with 7 percent increase in US dollars. Sales in emerging markets were up 6.8 percent at constant exchange rates. Retail division’s net sales were up 1.6 percent at constant exchange rates.
While North American market suffered due to one of the coldest and harshest winter of the last decade, double-digit growth in emerging markets was driven by China and Latin America. The first quarter was affected by the high volatility of certain exchange rates against the Euro which negatively affected net sales by more than below 5 percent.
The Milano-based group closed the first quarter of 2014 with net income of 157 million euros (216.6 million dollars) compared the first quarter of 2013, corresponding to an EPS of 0.33 euros (0.46 dollars).
Sunglass Hut confirmed it has an excellent business model delivering net sales results which were up 11.1 percent at constant exchange rates compared to the same period of 2013. In North America, Sunglass Hut, similar to the division’s other retail chains, is exhibiting strongly improved comparable store sales performance. Sales have accelerated to double digits in April compared to an increase of 3.3 percent achieved in the first quarter 2014.
In emerging markets, GMO, LensCrafters and Sunglass Hut contributed to the accelerating growth trend. In particular, LensCrafters comparable store sales grew for the third consecutive year double-digits in China and Hong Kong, and Sunglass Hut’s comparable store sales growth increased double-digits in Brazil, Mexico and South Africa.