By  on August 26, 2010

MILAN — Marcolin SpA posted higher profits and sales in the first half of the year, boosted by improved efficiency, cost containment and the launch of new brands on the market.

The Italian eyewear company said net profits more than doubled in the period ended June 30, reaching 14.3 million euros, or $19 million, compared with 7.1 million euros, or $9.4 million, in the first half last year.Sales rose 16 percent to 115.6 million euros, or $153.7 million, compared with 100 million euros, or $133 million, in the first six months of 2009. Dollar figures are converted at average exchange rates for the periods to which they refer.

Chief executive officer and general manager Massimo Saracchi said “orders are increasingly strong,” and the new brands are being welcomed favorably on international markets. The executive underscored Marcolin’s continuously improving “effectiveness and efficiency,” which he attributed also to investments made in the company. “The group is beginning to reap the rewards of the work done over the past two years,” said Saracchi, adding all indicators point to 2010 as “the best year of our history, and the prospects for 2011 appear even more encouraging.”

The company attributed its growth in the first half to the success of the existing brands in its portfolio, which range from Roberto Cavalli and Tom Ford to Ferrari and Kenneth Cole, and the labels recently introduced on the market —Tod’s, Hogan, John Gallianoand Dsquared2, which have “only started to express their potential in terms of sales.” In July, Diesel said it was finalizing a new five-year license with Marcolin for sunglasses and prescription frames. Marcolin also said a reduction of production costs and more efficiency, set in motion last year, helped boost the bottom line in the first half. In addition, the company pointed to the development of a new demand planning system, which helps improve the management of stocked merchandise and, as a consequence, lift margins.

Geographically, sales grew across the board, rising 16.8 percent in Italy, 11.4 percent in Europe, 9.1 percent in the U.S. and 31 percent in the rest of the world.

The company also more than halved its debt, which, as of June 30, stood at 11.3 million euros, or $15 million, compared with 29.3 million euros, or $39 million, at the end of June 2009.

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