A.T. Cross, the American group whose optical division markets the Costa and Native lines of sunglasses, is targeting $83 million in revenues and $15 million in operating income before amortization (Ebitda) in 2012 for its optical group, whose sales have been growing at a compound average annual rate of 24 percent since 2003. In the longer term, the Cross Optical Group is projected to generate a gross margin of 59 percent and an Ebitda margin of 18 percent on sales of $106 million by 2014.
Targeting the marine market, Costa is distributed in American sporting goods stores such as Dick's Sporting Goods and Bass Pro, but the management believes that it has covered only half of its potential. Native eyewear is distributed in outdoor-oriented sporting goods stores such as Cabela's, LL Bean and REI, but while it had added many accounts recently, it is only sold in one-third of its potential distribution network in the U.S., and it has significant opportunities for sale in Costa accounts.
A.T. Cross is scheduled to release its results for last year on Feb. 22, but the management indicated at the recent ICR XChange investors' conference that the Cross Optical Group should report a sales increase of 20 percent to $73 million for 2011. Besides the expansion of their respective sales networks, Costa launched a line of prescription sunglasses, while Native introduced several new styles including a line of ski goggles.
However, the company's total turnover probably rose by only 10 percent as its accessory division saw its sales go up by only around 5 percent. The main reason was a double-digit drop in Europe, which led the division to register a sales decline of 6 percent in the fourth quarter.