After the 22 percent drop in turnover in the first quarter, the outlook looks a little brighter for the world's leading eyewear case producer. By the end of the first half Fedon's sales decline had been reduced to 18 percent, and third quarter sales of e12.74 million signaled a 7 percent increase over the figure reported for the same period last year. For the first 9 months, sales were down 11 percent to e40.8 million.

Quoted on the second market of the Paris Bourse, Fedon has e16.3 million worth of orders in hand and thus stands a reasonable chance of further recouping its losses to end the year with sales at the same level as 2001.

In the first half of the year the operating profit fell by 5 percent to e1.4 million, equivalent to 5 percent of turnover. Net profit stood at e1.72 million, which, for tax reasons, was higher than operating profit, but lower than the figure reported for last year. The group's net margin consequently decreased from 10 to 6.1 percent of turnover.