In 2012, Luxottica will develop its action plans guided by three main principles:
Luxottica aims at continuing its growth throughout 2012 in all the main geographic areas where the Group operates. In particular, Luxottica expects to achieve especially significant results in the following regions strategically important to the Group:
Emerging markets are expected to represent a formidable driving force for both Luxottica Divisions during 2012. Emerging market countries in which Luxottica presently operates currently represent about 22% of net sales for the Wholesale Division and recorded about 20% growth in 2011. Luxottica also forecasts that in 2012 the Group will continue this development trend as a result of the investments it has made in this area of its business including the recently completed acquisition of Tecnol, a leading eyewear operator in Brazil. Largely as a result of the actions taken to date, Luxottica expects that net sales in emerging markets could represent approximately 30% of the Wholesale Division’s net sales in 2015. The Wholesale Division’s global presence will drive Luxottica’s ability to exploit the best opportunities wherever they appear.
Additionally, Luxottica’s plans for growth in the emerging markets are based on the continued roll-out of Sunglass Hut stores in this area, performance of the newly acquired GMO chain (since 2011) in Latin America and continued excellent results from China. In particular, Latin America represents an area with significant potential, where the Group can benefit from the synergies that are expected to occur between Tecnol and GMO.
Following the excellent results achieved in North America over the past two years, Luxottica aims to continue the balanced growth of both Divisions in this particularly strategic region for the Group.
During 2012, LensCrafters will further strengthen its role as a point of reference in the North American eyewear market. The innovative technologies introduced by the Group, such as the digital vision measurement system Accufit, will allow LensCrafters to provide enhanced levels of accuracy and precision and further improve the quality of service delivered to customers.
The Wholesale Division expects continued growth in sales of premium and luxury brands and this, coupled with the consistently outstanding services offered, will allow the Wholesale Division to further establish itself in the North American market. Adding to the Wholesale Division’s expected success in 2012 is the highly successful launch of the first Coach eyewear collections, which has delivered extremely positive results during the first two months of 2012.
Over the next few years, approximately 2 billion new consumers will enter the market, bringing with them a broader range of great opportunities for Luxottica, but, at the same time, the market will be more uncertain.
Simplicity and speed, and the ability to adapt and evolve rapidly have always been fundamental features of Luxottica. These traits, along with a determination to exploit opportunities when they arise, will represent the keys to success in 2012.
As a result of the successful implementation of Luxottica’s business strategy, 2011 was a positive year for the Retail Division in Australia, with comparable store sales1 increasing by approximately 10% in the fourth quarter of 2011. During 2012, Luxottica aims to further strengthen the market position of OPSM, the main eyewear chain in the region, through a plan that foresees 50 new points of sale in the next 24 months, expenditures of over 40 million Australian dollars for OPSM retail store expansion, implementation of new technologies, and marketing and reorganization of the other Group retail chains in the region. Once these action plans are implemented, the Retail Division is expected to grow in the region between 8% and 12% in 2012.
The ability to develop closer and longer lasting relationships with customers and consumers along with an ability to tell comprehensive stories about the many brands in our portfolio will increasingly become critical factors driving the Group's continued success.
In the past few years, Sunglass Hut, the leading global “sun” specialty retail chain, has proven exceptional at exhibiting such qualities. In 2011, the overall comparable store sales1 grew by 8.7% worldwide, achieving the best performance in the brand's history. Luxottica expects that the success of Sunglass Hut is likely to continue throughout 2012, as a result of growth in the socalled “sun belt” countries (geographic areas with a high number of sunny days per year and highly inclined to consumerism), including Europe, and by exploiting existing opportunities in the “travel retail” and “department stores” channel.
Sunglass Hut is on a trajectory of worldwide expansion as a direct result of investments made in Mexico, ongoing business activities in Brazil and China and build-out of the brand in India. As a result, the number of Sunglass Hut stores is targeted to reach the 4,000 mark by 2015.
2012 will be a particularly important year for Oakley, after six consecutive years of double-digit growth, a trend that is expected to continue into 2012. Oakley has succeeded in building exceptional relationships with top athletes in a variety of sports and will benefit from enhanced exposure at the London Olympics where it is also a sponsor.
Further benefits will also arise from the expansion of the OCP program (Oakley CustomProgram), a key driver of business growth, creating opportunities for Oakley's entire digitalplatform. Investments in India, China, Brazil and Europe will also continue and sales in theseareas are expected to grow significantly, owing to stronger investments in style and technologyfor the optical segment.