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Luxottica Group transformation pays off

Luxottica Group sales rose 4.2 per cent in the first half of 2017, although excluding exchange rates the improvement was a more modest 1.8 per cent.

The eyewear giant said its performance in the first six months was the result of a “profound transformation and a strategic renewal aimed at promoting consistency and transparency in commercial policies, a more direct relationship with consumers, and an extensive digitisation of the business”.

“In the first six months, the group continued to invest in improving its sales quality and a renewed focus on consumers and its brands’ positioning. Initiatives include the launch of successful new collections and the debut of Ray-Ban ophthalmic lenses, the reduction of discounts across all sales channels, and key collaborations such as Ray-Ban with Ferrari, Gigi Hadid for Vogue Eyewear and Oakley with Dorna for the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.”

The company said new stores, a favorable price mix and cost discipline positively contributed to the results of the period.

Luxottica’s retail division recorded a 6.8 per cent increase in sales (up 4 per cent at constant exchange rates), after benefitting from the group’s new strategy focusing on service quality and brand equity, including a strong reduction of in-store promotions and discounts.

“New stores, optical retail results in all geographies, Ray-Ban stores in China and the consolidation of Salmoiraghi & Viganò in Europe contributed to the positive performance in the period,” the company said in its earnings statement. In addition, Sunglass Hut posted a 1 per cent growth in sales in the second quarter, despite a reduction in store count designed to improve geographic allocation and promote store productivity.

The wholesale division recorded sales in line with the previous year, up 0.5 per cent at current exchange rates and down 1.2 per cent at constant exchange rates.

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