While the number of directly owned and franchised stores increased to 831 by Oct. 31, at the end of the 1st half of its financial year, up sharply from 758 one year earlier, Alain Afflelou's revenues from commissions on the purchases it makes in behalf of its franchisees dropped by 1.5 percent to €7.0 million during the period. Revenues from the resale of exclusive products rose by only 1.2 percent to €20.1 million, driven by lenses.

Thanks to higher franchising fees, related to the expansion of the store network, to higher charges for advertising and to a higher turnover for the company's directly owned stores, the group's total revenues increased by 12.7 percent during the latest 6-month period, reaching €78.2 million. Company-owned stores contributed revenues of €14.1 million, up 13.3 percent.

Globally the Alain Afflelou retail network posted sales of €274.2 million, or 7.0 percent more than in the same period a year ago. On a same-store basis, sales increased by 1.1 percent, but the company's new banner, Alain Afflelou Plurielles, posted a decline of 0.4 percent. The regular Alain Afflelou stores had increases of 0.1 percent in France, 9.1 percent in Spain and 14.6 percent in other countries on a comparable store basis.

The company notes the fact that one out of five stores in the network is now operating outside France. The number of Spanish outlets has risen from 97 to 138 in the past 12-month period. Elsewhere, the store count is up to 37 doors from 21. There has been a smaller increase in the number of French outlets, which now include 624 Alain Afflelou units, 30 Plurielles stores and the last two remaining Optique Carrefour stores.