A Max Mara model produced and distributed by Safilo

MILANSafilo Group has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Dr. Mazen Fakeeh C. Healthcare Company for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, effective from mid-June 2017.

The Italian eyewear group has also renewed its partnership with Optitalia Gulf for the independent retail distribution across Safilo’s other Gulf Cooperation Countries countries, further developing a partnership spanning over 25 years.

Safilo, which has more than 50 partners around the globe, has new showrooms in Jeddah and Riyadh. In April, the company said it was entering Iran, teaming with a local partner there, Noor Gostaran Azin Aryan Co. As part of Safilo’s 2020 strategic plan, this partnership follows the opening in 2014 of the group’s Dubai-based IMEA division, which manages operations across India, the Middle East and Africa. In January, Safilo partnered with South Korean commercial eyewear operator Seeone for the exclusive distribution of its brands in the country’s independent optical market, which excludes travel-retail shops.

Safilo produces and distributes eyewear under license for brands
 including Fendi, Dior, Max Mara, Elie Saab and Marc Jacobs. This year it will 
launch Givenchy. It also owns brands Carrera, Safilo, Smith, Polaroid and Oxydo.

“Their experience in local healthcare and eyewear, and a newly established local network, offer Safilo brands a unique local infrastructure, resources and branding know-how,” said Luisa Delgado, chief executive officer of Safilo, about the new partner. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a significant market for Safilo in our IMEA [India, Middle East and Africa] region with a population of over 30 million people.”

Delgado also praised Optitalia for representing Safilo “for many years with professionalism and commitment, effectively building our brands’ strong local presence. We are now taking a further step together as we strengthen the focus on Carrera, Polaroid and Safilo, and expand the optical category across all our brand portfolio.”

In 2016, Safilo saw double-digit growth for the second consecutive year in its IMEA region.

As reported, Safilo’s full-year 2016 net profit, adjusted for nonrecurring items, more than doubled to 15.4 million euros, or $17 million at average exchange rates, from $6.9 million euros, or $7.58 million, in 2015. While profits rose, sales contracted 2 percent to 1.25 billion euros, or $1.35 billion.

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