Backstage at Dior RTW Spring 2019

MILAN — Italian eyewear manufacturing company Safilo has set up a joint venture with South Korean’s Parma International, a group active in the eyewear and sport goods sectors.

As part of the joint venture, Safilo will own 51 percent of the newly formed company, which will distribute the collections developed by the Italian group in the South Korean market.

“We are committed to building a solid, profitable and long-term business in South Korea, a market that holds strategic importance for Safilo at a global level, both for its domestic market and for its role as a trendsetter in design for the whole world,” explained Angelo Trocchia, chief executive officer of Safilo Group. “Parma International’s experience in distribution and knowledge of the local wholesale and retail market make them an ideal partner with whom to develop our longterm growth strategy.”

Sangken Park, ceo of Parma International, highlighted that the two companies share the same “vision and approach, and I am sure that the creation of this joint venture will enable us to strengthen and accelerate our respective businesses.”

The eyewear manufacturer’s collections were already distributed in South Korea through local partner Seeone, which will continue to manage the distribution of some of Safilo’s brands, to secure continuity. That distribution agreement was inked in 2017.

Safilo produces and distributes eyewear collections for the likes of Fendi, Dior, Max Mara and Givenchy, in addition to four owned brands, including Carrera, Smith, Polaroid and Safilo, which accounted for 27 percent of the business in 2018.

Last year, the company’s revenues totaled 962.9 million euros, down 7 percent, compared with 1.03 billion euros in 2017. At constant exchange, sales decreased 4 percent. Revenues accelerated in the fourth quarter, growing 1.8 percent to 249.1 million euros, compared with the same period in 2017.

In addition, the company succeeded in reducing its losses in 2018. In the 12 months ended Dec. 31, adjusted net losses totaled 26.7 million euros, compared with an adjusted net loss of 47.1 million euros in 2017.