MILAN — The eyewear sector’s ongoing strong performance in Italy and abroad helped boost Italia Independent Group SpA’s earnings and revenues in the first three months of the year.
In the period ended March 31, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were up 2.9 percent to 1.6 million euros, or $1.8 million, representing 15.7 percent of sales. The company noted a higher concentration of costs in the quarter compared with the same period last year.
Italia Independent is listed on the AIM market, for small and medium-size companies, of the Italian Stock Exchange and does not report net profit for the first quarter. Eyewear is the group’s core business.
Revenues rose 21.7 percent to 10 million euros, or $11.3 million.
“We are pleased with the results we have achieved this quarter, the product of the new initiatives we have recently launched and which we hope will produce even greater benefits over the course of this year,” said Andrea Tessitore, cofounder and chief executive officer of Italia Independent Group.
The net financial position stood at a negative 14.7 million euros, or $16.6 million, compared with 10.3 million euros, or $13.7 million, at the end of December last year, affected by the foreign subsidiaries’ needs for financing, investments in new stores and greater supply of goods as a consequence of higher sales.
Dollar amounts are converted at average exchange for the periods to which they refer.
The company, cofounded by Fiat heir Lapo Elkann, has been expanding outside the country, as well as in Italy. New units this year include venues in Miami and Los Angeles.
In January this year, the group launched a new eyewear family called Eyeye based on digital printing technology with a price to the public of about 80 euros, or $110 at current exchange rate.
Italia Independent has been forging alliances with several brands. It recently inked a three-year tie-up with Hublot, and it has a new partnership with Adidas Originals for an eyewear project unveiled at the sector’s recent Mido trade show. With Hublot, at the Baselworld fair earlier this year, the company, which also comprises communication and advertising agency Independent Ideas, unveiled new sunglasses and watches in Texalium, an innovative aluminium-coated carbon fiber.