Colorful lenses by Dior

MILAN — Safilo Group S.p.A. reported a 7 percent decrease in preliminary 2018 revenues to 962.9 million euros, compared with 1.03 billion euros in the previous year, hurt by soft business in North America and emerging markets, and a slowdown in the Asia Pacific region in the last quarter. At constant exchange rates, sales were down 4 percent.

In the 12 months ended Dec. 31, wholesale revenues declined 5.1 percent at constant exchange rates.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, Safilo’s preliminary sales grew 1.8 percent to 249.1 million euros, compared to the same period in 2017.

Safilo produces and distributes eyewear under license for brands including FendiDior and Jimmy Choo, as well as house brands Carrera, Polaroid and Safilo.

Safilo expects that the cost-saving program put in place in the second half of 2018 will allow the group to close the year with an adjusted EBITDA margin close to 5 percent, at the high end of its expectation range for the year of between 4 and 5 percent.

In 2018, sales in Europe were down 1.2 percent to 452 million euros, accounting for 46.9 percent of the total. Revenues in North America decreased 12.1 percent to 371.3 million euros, representing 38.6 percent of total. Of this figure, wholesale revenues totaled 319.1 million euros, down 10.6 percent.

The Asia Pacific region decreased 1.5 percent to 63.3 million euros, while sales in the rest of the world area totaled 76.3 million euros, a 16.2 percent drop, and representing almost 8 percent of total. Asia Pacific and the rest of the world weighed on the last quarter, with revenues falling 17.4 percent to 15.4 million euros and 29.7 percent to 22.4 million euros, respectively. On the other hand, Europe saw sales climb 23.8 percent to 120.4 million euros in the three months ended Dec. 31.

Chief executive officer Angelo Trocchia said at the end of October that the company was stepping up efforts to “reconquer the business” in Europe and North America, improving customer care and service levels. Safilo is also focusing on Asia and Latin America, boosting its management.

In October, Safilo appointed Connie Lai Sin Ching as senior commercial head of APAC & Greater China. As reported, David Anabitarte joined the company as the firm’s Latin America vice president in October, succeeding Andrea Busato, taking up the role on Oct. 1 and based in Mexico City.

In the second half last year, Safilo announced the renewal of the Tommy Hilfiger, Fossil, Banana Republic and Havaianas eyewear licenses, as well as the addition of a new licensing agreement with Missoni.

In October, Safilo’s extraordinary shareholders’ meeting approved the share capital increase up to a maximum of 150 million euros.

Full financial results will be reported on March 13.