Milan, Italy - September 18, 2009 – The Board of Directors of Luxottica Group S.p.A. (MTA: LUX; NYSE: LUX), a global leader in the design, manufacturing and distribution of fashion, luxury and sports eyewear, met today in Milan.
Andrea Guerra, chief executive officer of Luxottica Group, commented: “During the first eight months of this year, the Group posted positive results and strong cash flow generation, including a record Euro 260 million for the second quarter alone. This performance further strengthened our balance sheet and puts us in a position to look more positively towards the year-end. Consequently, we believe that this is the right time for our shareholders to share in these results, since they believed in our Group even during a year as challenging as 2009.”
The Board of Directors today scheduled the Company’s Ordinary Shareholders’ Meeting for October 29, 2009, on first call, and for October 30, 2009, on second call. At the Meeting, the Board of Directors will propose to shareholders the payment of a dividend of €0.22 per ordinary share, resulting in a total dividend payment of over €100 million.
Based on the timetable established by Borsa Italiana, the Milan Stock Exchange, once approved by Shareholders, the dividend will be paid in Euro to holders of ordinary shares on November 26, 2009. Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, the depositary of Luxottica Group’s ordinary shares represented by American Depositary Receipts (ADRs), will pay the dividend in U.S. dollars to ADR holders on December 4, at the Euro/U.S. dollar exchange rate of November 27, 2009. The ex-dividend date for both holders of ordinary shares and ADRs will be November 23, 2009.
Luxottica Group also announced the launch on September 21, 2009, of the share buyback program approved by Shareholders at the May 13, 2008, Shareholders’ Meeting to implement its Performance Shares Plan. The program will allow the purchase on the Milan Stock Exchange’s Mercato Telematico Azionario (MTA) by the Company, in accordance with Article 144-bis, paragraph 1, letter b) of the Regulations for Issuers released by Consob under Resolution no. 11971/99, of a number of shares equivalent to the 6,434,786 treasury shares currently held by its subsidiary Arnette Optics Illusions Inc. (Arnette). In parallel with the purchases of shares by the Company, Arnette will sell on the MTA the 6,434,786 Luxottica Group treasury shares it currently holds. As a result, Luxottica Group will have direct control of a number of shares equal to those currently indirectly controlled through its subsidiary. The transactions will be substantially neutral from an economic and financial standpoint.
The original Shareholders resolution, which authorized the buyback of up to a maximum of 18,500,000 ordinary shares and will expire on November 13, 2009, was intended to provide the Company with treasury shares to efficiently manage its share capital and to implement its Performance Shares Plan. Consequently, at the upcoming Meeting the Board of Directors will submit to Shareholders for approval the extension of the authorization to buyback up to a maximum of 18,500,000 ordinary shares, currently representing 3.99 percent of the Company’s share capital, for a maximum value of EUR 370,000,000. The new authorization would be valid for a period of 18 months from the date of the approval by Shareholders at the Meeting.