Luxottica Posts 60% Decline In Earnings

Higher operating expenses contributed to falling earnings in the fourth quarter.
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On March 12, 2009,

Luxottica Group


posted a 59.9% decline in its Q4 FY08 earnings, due to the higher operating expenses and write-downs. Net income fell to EUR 38.83 million or EUR 0.08 per share from EUR 96.93 million or EUR 0.21 per share in Q4 FY07. The write-off of debt related to the sale of the Things Remembered retail chain impacted earnings by EUR 15.00 million or EUR 0.03 per share. In U.S. dollar terms, earnings before trademark amortization dropped 45.7% to $0.19 per share. The consensus estimate for the latest third quarter was $0.18 per share.

Luxottica Group's revenue for Q4 FY08 grew 4.0% to EUR 1.24 billion from EUR 1.19 billion in the year-ago quarter, driven by the appreciation of the U.S. dollar against the euro. However, pro forma revenue was down 5.5% at a constant exchange rate due to weak demand. In U.S. dollar terms, revenue decreased 5.3% year-over-year to $1.63 billion. Looking at the company's segments, the Wholesale division's revenue surged 14.1% to EUR 545.79 million, and the Retail division's revenue rose 8.8% to EUR 776.75 million.

During Q4 FY08, Luxottica Group announced its plan to open over 100 Sunglass Hut stores across India through a franchising agreement with India-based real estate developer DLF Group. In January 2009, LUX signed a license agreement with Tory Burch LLC to manufacture and distribute sun and prescription eyewear under the Tory Burch and TT brands. The company also extended its license agreements for the Salvatore Ferragamo brand.

Net sales for FY08 grew 4.7% to EUR 5.20 billion from EUR 4.97 billion in the previous year, driven by the acquisition of Oakley. However, earnings decreased 22.9% to EUR 379.72 million or EUR 0.83 per share from EUR 492.20 million or EUR 1.07 per share, due to higher operating expenses and write-downs.