Chairman’s letter to Shareholders, April 2012
2012 was a particularly positive year for Luxottica. We reported record results, validating the quality and continuity of investments that have been made in the Company’s growth and its future.
Luxottica posted strong operating results, achieving double-digit growth in both net sales and profits. For the first time in the Group’s history, net sales exceeded Euro 7 billion. The wholesale and retail divisions significantly contributed to the growth experienced in all the geographic areas in which Luxottica operates. In particular, the Company posted excellent results in emerging markets, with a 26% increase in net sales compared to the previous year measured at constant exchange rates. Net income was also up 20% over 2011, reaching Euro 542 million. These standout results are further reflected in a dividend payout equal to Euro 0.58 per ordinary share, up over 18% from the dividend paid in 2011 and further confirming that our Company is financially solid.
Luxottica’s performance testifies to the strength and effectiveness of our business model in an extremely challenging international economic environment, showcasing sound growth opportunities, particularly in emerging markets. Looking forward, we are in an excellent position to make the most of these opportunities, utilizing our vertically integrated business model and sound profitability.
In 2012, we continued our investments in further expanding our retail division, enriching our portfolio with new brands, increasing our production capacity and enhancing the organization with new technological platforms and digital solutions.
Our organization is flexible and trained to embrace change and thanks to its geographic diversification it is fully prepared to face the challenges of new developments in the international markets and those of our clients around the world.
Demographic dynamics, the increasing penetration of eyewear, particularly in emerging countries, and ongoing growth of the premium segment in the accessory arena enable us to look to the future with optimism and determination.
In 2013, Luxottica will continue investing in the international expansion. Emerging markets development will be backed by an accompanying investment in human resources and brands, and in the retail division, growth will be targeted at acquisitions or investments in existing channels, with a primary focus on Southeast Asia. In the premium and luxury brand portfolio segments, we are targeting double-digit growth. Luxottica will continue to offer new services to further improve the shopping experience in the luxury segment and develop signature products to meet the requests and style of increasingly demanding and sophisticated customers. Moreover, the acquisition of the iconic Alain Mikli brand, which is included in the newly established Atelier division, represents another step the Company has taken on the road to being one of the world’s fastest growing companies in the important and expanding luxury segment of the eyewear market.
We are a sustainable, modern organization, sensitive to the environment and people’s dignity. We are strongly committed to OneSight, the public charity that in 25 years has restored the gift of sight for 8.4 million people in 40 countries with help from thousands of Luxottica volunteers. We are proud to continue our support as OneSight leads development of sustainable solutions to provide quality vision care for millions more in underserved communities worldwide. OneSight reminds us every day that helping people see better also means having a far-sighted and clear vision of the future.
Leonardo Del Vecchio