Luxottica Group’s net sales reached €1.78 billion ($2.23 bb)  in the third quarter, up 6.7 percent in currency neutral (c-n) terms. The Italian eyewear giant, which owns the Oakley and Ray-Ban eyewear brands, said results exceeded expectations in North America and sales growth accelerated to 9 percent in Western Europe and improved in the Mediterranean.

EBITDA for the third quarter of 2012 rose by 24.0 percent over the same period in 2011, increasing from €276.0 million ($390 mm) on an adjusted basis in 2011 to €342.1 million ($428 mm)  in the current period. The adjusted data for the third quarter of 2011 does not include: an extraordinary gain of approximately €21 million related to the acquisition of the 40 percent stake in Multiopticas Internacional; non-recurring costs related to Luxottica’s 50th anniversary celebrations of approximately €12 million; and non-recurring restructuring and start-up costs in the Retail Division of approximately €11.8 million.

Operating income for the third quarter of 2012 grew by 26.1 percent year-over-year, equaling €248.9 million ($280 mm), or €197.4 million ($247 mm) on an adjusted basis. The Group's operating margin increased 100 basis points to 14.0 percent on an adjusted basis. Net income for the third quarter of 2012 increased 30.6 percent to €138.6 million ($173 mm). Earnings per share were  €0.30 assuming an average €/US dollar exchange rate of 1.2502. EPS in US dollars was 37 cents for the third quarter of 2012.

The Wholesale division's net sales rose to €646.8 million ($780 mm) from €555.1 million ($785 mm) in the third quarter of 2011, or 10.7 percent in c-n terms. Operating income grew to €124.8 million ($156 mm), compared with €104.9 million ($148.4 mm) during the third quarter of 2011. Operating margin grew 40 basis points to 19.3 percent in the third quarter. Growth was driven in part by new collections, with double-digit growth in Ray-Ban, Oakley and the luxury segment and strong overseas sales.


Double-digit growth was recorded in China, Turkey, Mexico, India, Brazil and Eastern Europe. Excellent results were also achieved in Western Europe, with Nordic countries, France, Germany and the UK up double-digits in the quarter. Performance in Italy was slightly negative, while Spain returned to growth.

“Investments in emerging markets continue to pay off,” said CEO Andrea Guerra. “We are very satisfied with our operating margin results, which improved by 100 basis points at the Group level. We are confident that our balanced business model and sales momentum constitute an excellent base as we head towards the end of 2012 and will allow us to take advantage of future opportunities.”

The Retail division’s net sales equaled €1.14 billion ($1.43 bb), up 17.3 percent year-over-year (4.4 percent c-n). Operating income increased 30.5 percent c-n to €166.2 million ($200 mm). Operating margin increased 140 basis points to 14.6 percent. Comparable store sales grew by 5.9 percent during the quarter.

Sunglass Hut, the Group’s sun specialty chain that operates in a number of countries, once again delivered record results, with overall comparable store sales up 8.8 percent. Stellar performance was achieved in the United States (8.4 percent) and Mexico, which recorded an increase in excess of 30 percent in comparable store sales as a result of investments made over the last few months.