MILAN — Safilo Group SpA narrowed its loss in the third quarter, helped by strong business in China and the U.S.
In the three months ended Sept. 30, the Italian eyewear maker reported a net loss of 365,000 euros, or $467,200, compared with the loss of 22.1 million euros, or $31.3 million, in the same period last year.
Safilo, which produces for designer brands including Giorgio Armani, Dior, Gucci, Valentino, Tommy Hilfiger and Yves Saint Laurent, reported sales of 237.9 million euros, or $304.5 million, up 11.9 percent from 212.6 million euros, or $301.9 million, in the same period last year.
Dollar amounts have been converted at average exchange for the periods to which they refer.
Chief executive officer Roberto Vedovotto said the third quarter “provided another encouraging set of results for Safilo,” as the company continues to see an improvement in business. The executive highlighted “better results in selected European markets, resilient performance in the United States, and solid growth in emerging markets.” Vedovotto also underscored the renewal of the license with Christian Dior at the end of September.
All licensed brands enjoyed sales growth during the third quarter, and Carrera, Safilo’s main house brand, continued to grow steadily at a double digit pace.
In addition, Vedovotto said the company continues “to closely monitor” its financial position, which shows “financial leverage below 3x EBITDA for the first time in almost three years.”
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) totaled 17.7 million euros, or $22.6 million, compared with 3.5 million euros, or $4.9 million, in the same period last year.
Revenues in the U.S. grew 21.7 percent, posting the highest sales improvement, boosted by sales of sunglasses. “Sales of Smith sport products were another catalyst of growth in the region thanks to a solid preseason order base and a significant increase in distribution,” said Safilo in a statement.
Sales in Europe gained 5.7 percent in the third quarter, with France and Spain among the best performers together with Nordic markets and Russia.
Sales in Asia jumped 29.7 percent, led by the high double-digit performance of China and greater China.
As of Sept. 30, Safilo’s net debt stood at 262.7 million euros, or $344.1 million, compared with 588 million euros, or $817.3 million, at the end of 2009.