Safilo Preliminary Sales Top Pre-Pandemic Levels

·3 min read

MILAN Italian eyewear maker Safilo Group S.p.A’s full-year revenues rose for the first time since the pandemic, lifted by online sales and a robust performance in its North America, Europe and Rest of the World markets.

Reporting results after the Milan Bourse closed on Thursday, Safilo said in the 12 months ended Dec. 30 preliminary 2021 revenues were up 24.3 percent at current exchange to 969.6 million euros, compared with 780.3 million euros the previous year. Sales rose 3.3 percent at current exchange and 7.5 percent at constant exchange compared to 2019, when sales hit 939 million euros.

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The report topped estimates given by the company in November. At the time, Safilo’s management said it saw 2021 sales rising mid-single digits at constant exchange compared to 2019 levels.

Safilo’s full-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (adjusted for non-recurring items) margin was 8.7 percent, marking an “exponential recovery” compared to the break-even figure recorded in 2020 and the 7 percent EBITDA margin it reported in 2019. In addition, the Padua-based company reduced its net debt to 94 million euros at the end of December 2021 compared to 222.1 million euros in 2020, reflecting the successful completion of the group’s capital increase at the beginning of November.

Year-on-year, sales in North America surged 36.1 percent at current exchange to 466.2 million euros, accounting for 48.1 percent of the total. Europe was up 14.6 percent to 378.5 million euros, representing 39 percent of total revenues. Sales in the rest of the world led gains, rocketing 54.8 percent to 72.4 million euros. Revenues in Asia Pacific fell 13.4 percent to 52.6 million euros, accounting for 5.4 percent of the total, hurt by the termination of key licenses.

The exit of the Dior, Max Mara and Fendi licenses, as well as Givenchy at the end of 2021, prompted Safilo to redefine its portfolio last year.

“In an economic environment which saw the fourth quarter once again impacted by renewed restrictions following the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the performance of the Safilo business by geographical area continued to be driven by the expansion of the North American market, in which the group achieved the sixth consecutive quarter of growth, both compared to the previous year and to 2019,” the company said.

In addition to its own brands, Carrera, Polaroid, Smith and Safilo, Blenders and Privé Revaux, the group produces and distributes eyewear for labels such as DB Eyewear by David Beckham, Missoni, Marc Jacobs, Moschino, Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s and Parisian-chic label Isabel Marant. It most recently added Carolina Herrera, Dsquared2 and Under Armour to its roster.

Overall, Safilo has been focusing on strengthening its online business and e-commerce strategy and benefited from a strong performance of its prescription glasses, sports products and key markets, including the U.S., over the last year.

In 2021, the share of the group’s total business deriving from online channels equaled 13.4 percent of total sales, up from 12.7 percent in 2020 and 3.9 percent in 2019.

In November, the company said it would continue to eye new acquisitions and focus on its digital transformation, which includes the new licensing and distribution agreement it inked in September 2021 with Chiara Ferragni’s signature label.

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