De Rigo has reported net sales of €514.4 million for 2004, an increase of 1.9 percent as compared to the previous year, but they rose by only 1.0 percent in terms of local currencies due to the strength of the British pound sterling. On the other hand, they were up by 6.1 percent without including the revenues of Eyewear International Distribution (EID), the joint venture with the Prada Group in which De Rigo sold its controlling interest in July 2003.

Wholesale and manufacturing operations brought in €134.5 million, down 1.2 percent including EID and up 0.7 percent excluding it. In constant euros, these revenues were down by 0.9 percent including EID and up 1.0 percent without it. Strong sales were reported mainly in certain Far Eastern markets, particularly in Japan and Hong Kong, as well as in some European markets, including Greece and Spain.

Revenues from De Rigo's retail subsidiaries rose by 7.8 percent to €389.8 million, with strong growth on a comparable basis at both Dollond & Aitchison in the UK and at General Optica in Spain. D&A brought in €248.9 million, up 7.8 percent or 5.8 percent in pounds sterling, while GO brought in €140.9 million, also up 7.8 percent.

At D&A, same-store sales per working day increased by 6.2 percent. The increase in sales was attributed mostly to aggressive marketing campaigns that drove sales of higher quality products. By Dec. 31, 2004, D&A operated a network of 232 corporate stores and 140 franchised stores, after closing four under-performing franchises over the year. The turnover of the franchised stores grew to €66.6 million, up 5.8 percent in euros and up 3.8 percent in pounds sterling.

GO expanded its network of corporate and franchised stores and generated a 6.0 percent increase in same-store sales per working day. By Dec. 31, GO operated a network of 148 owned stores and 18 franchised stores, having opened six company-owned stores and four franchises during the year.

Both store networks have continued the good performance of the previous two years. D&A won a special award for excellence in personnel training and its new management is committed to new projects in the areas of brand positioning, store refittings and customer service.