PARIS — Safilo Group has upped its stake in sun lens manufacturer Lenti, making it a wholly owned affiliate of the world’s second-largest eyewear manufacturer. Safilo has acquired a further 24.4 percent stake in Lenti, based in Bergamo, Italy, on top of the 75.6 percent it already owned, reinforcing its stronghold in lens manufacturing.
The move is part of Safilo’s 2020 Strategic Plan, which calls for the doubling of the group’s 2014 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by 2020 through boosting its licensing business as well as its proprietary brands and investing in product supply, logistics and technology under chief executive officer Luisa Delgado, who joined the company in October 2013.
“We are expanding our capabilities in lenses where we already have a significant stronghold and where we are playing an indisputable leading role,” said Delgado.
Safilo is the inventor of Polaroid lenses, while its Smith Chromapop lenses use advanced technology to filter light waves avoiding color confusion, providing clarity and more comfortable vision, according to the company.
The company also produces lenses using the “Tampografia” technique, which integrates two colors with striped printing on the lenses, in its Longarone plant, and other specialties include embellishment, silk-screen printing and deep dyeing of lenses as well as technical processes such as mirroring, coating, molding, co-injection and color enhancement.
One of Lenti’s specialties is the development and production of state-of-the-art decorated lenses. Fendi’s HypnoShine lenses, for example, are produced at the Lenti factory. “Thanks to our reactive Lenti plant we have been able to exploit [the] decoration trend at a very sophisticated and prized level and put this product fast on the market,” said Delgado.
“We are pushing the borders of technology innovation across our brand portfolio,” she added. “We can count on our ability to merge our craftsmanship and longstanding know-how, which has developed over the years thanks to the close collaboration with the world of fashion [and] with the most cutting-edge processes and technology available in the eyewear sector.”
Safilo manufactures eyewear under license for major brands including Dior, Fendi and Céline. Safilo’s license for Gucci comes to a close in December, two years earlier than originally planned, as the brand’s parent company Kering prepares to internalize control over its eyewear.
Since the announcement of the loss of the Gucci license, Safilo has inked deals with several new brands including Swatch, Elie Saab and Havaianas. Earlier this month, it revealed it would take on the license for Moschino eyewear from January 2018. It also owns the Safilo, Carrera, Polaroid, Smith Optics and Oxydo brands.
The company reported a sharp rise in adjusted net profits in the six months ended June 30, up 130.6 percent to 22.9 million euros, or $25.6 million at average exchange for the period, thanks to a lower tax rate and a positive financial gain. This was despite a slowdown in first-half revenues, which fell 3.5 percent to 651.1 million euros, or $729.2 million.