No regrets for De Rigo at the loss of the Céline license to Safilo, which has enabled the latter to make up for the far more serious loss of Armani. Céline represented around 3 percent of De Rigo's turnover, but this figure should be compensated for by two new licenses in 2012: Carolina Herrera and Lanvin. Carlina Herrera was previouysly licensed by Indo, a former partner of De Rigo in Spain that has discontinued its frames and sunglass operations. Previously marketed by L'Amy, Lanvin should reach global annual sales of €25 to €30 million, around 7 percent of Marcolin's turnover.
After an eventful year, 2011 is expected to generate wholesale turnover of €204 million, up 10.5 percent over the previous year. In 2010, the wholesale business grew by 19 percent to €19.1 million, with Police remaining the star brand of the group. Operating profit before amortization (Ebitda) rose in this segment by 106.3 percent, while earnings after amortization (Ebit) increased by 247.7 percent. Retail sales, on the other hand, were down by 30 percent to €161.4 million, with Ebitda down by 40.9 percent and Ebit by 98.8 percent. Excluding Dollond & Aitchison, the group's retail chains were down by 4.5 percent, due to the poor performance of the company's 204 General Optica stores in Spain. The 32 outlets belonging to Opmar Optik in Turkey are a relatively recent acquisition.
The total turnover for the year 2010 amounted to €342.8 million, which was up by 7.5 percent on a comparable basis, although it showed a drop in absolute terms of 10.1 percent from the €381.5 million generated in 2009, due especially to the de-consolidation of the Dollond & Aitchison chain in the U.K., which is now part of a joint venture with Boots Opticians. The collaboration between the two partners has resulted in the creation of Boots Vision, which has become the U.K.'s second-largest eyewear chain with 657 stores and 196 franchises; significantly improved margins; and D&A's no longer featuring in the group's consolidated balance sheet, after a final four-month period in 2009.
The group's gross operating margin (Ebitda) grew last by over 8 percentage points to €34.5 million, equivalent to 10 percent of turnover. Wholesale operations contributed the most to this result, while the General Optica chain in Spain struggled because of the difficult Spanish market. Operating profit (Ebit) more than doubled to €13.5 million, 3.9 percent of turnover, again due to the good performance of the group's wholesale business, in spite of General Optica's negative results. Though De Rigo lost €15.6 million in 2009, it ended 2010 with net profit of €7.2 million, or 2.1 percent of revenues.
Coming back to 2010 sales, De Rigo's main market continued to be Europe, which represented 78 percent of the group's total turnover. Growth in the Americas amounted to 30.9 percent with sales of €20.3 million. In the rest of the world – mainly Asia – sales of €52.9 million represented an increase of 22.5 percent. In 2011 it was the emerging markets that clocked the highest growth rates, thanks to Asia and the Pacific, China, Brazil and Russia. There was substantail growth also in Japan, where De Rigo continued to sell in spite of the disastrous tsunami in March.