Fielmann reached solid growth on a same-store basis of 4 percent in the first six months of this year, with an acceleration to 6 percent in the second quarter. Company officials attribute this to demographic developments, the ongoing upgrading to progressive lenses and the strength of the German economy. Total retail sales increased by 2.5 percent in Germany in the first half of 2015, with an inflation rate of 0.3 percent, and the unemployment rate of 6.2 percent was much lower than in other European countries.

The leading German optical retailer reported a net profit of €82.5 million for the first half of the year, up from €77.2 million in the first half of 2014, on 5.1 percent higher consolidated revenues of €644.3 million. They rose by 3.2 percent in Germany, which continues to represent the bulk of the turnover, and by 4.7 percent in Austria. They went up by 18.8 percent in Switzerland under the influence of the strong Swiss franc. Including operations in other countries, Fielmann sold a total of 3.80 million pairs of glasses, up from 3.72 million in the year-ago period.

Fielmann Consolidated Income Statement

(‘000 Euros, Second Quarter ended June 30)

 

2015

2014

%
Change

REVENUES

328,639

306,241

7.3

Other Income

1,714

2,597

-34.0

Cost of Materials

71,020

67,383

5.4

Personnel Costs

127,279

120,410

5.7

Depreciation

9,326

9,780

-4.6

Other Expenses

69,399

63,130

9.9

Net Interest Income

159

97

63.9

Pre-Tax

53,585

48,232

11.1

Income Tax

15,585

13,484

15.6

Minority Interest

1,192

1,030

15.7

NET

36,808

33,718

9.2

Euro/Share (diluted)

0.44

0.40

10.0

As shown on one of the tables on this page, Fielmann improved operating margins in every geographic area during the first half, leading to an Ebit margin of 18.1 percent for the group, up from 17.5 percent in the first six months of 2014. Outside the German-speaking area of Europe, including Poland and Ukraine, where the company keeps a factory outlet operation, it moved from an operating loss to an operating profit. However, the Ebit margin in those countries remained low at 4.8 percent, as compared to 18.2 percent in Germany, 18.7 percent in Switzerland and 19.4 percent in Austria.

Unit sales rose strongly to 1.93 million pairs in the second quarter from 1.86 million pairs in the year-ago period, leading to a 7.3 percent jump in consolidated sales to €328.6 million. Net earnings went up at a faster rate of 9.2 percent to €36.8 million.

Fielmann Segment Reporting

(‘000 Euros, Six Months ended June 30)

 

2015

2014

%
Change

Germany

504.7

489.2

3.2

EBIT Margin, %

18.2

17.5

 

Switzerland

87.3

73.5

18.8

EBIT Margin, %

18.7

23.5

 

Austria

37.7

36.0

4.7

EBIT Margin, %

19.4

19.2

 

Others

14.6

14.3

2.1

EBIT Margin, %

4.8

-18.9

 

REVENUES

644.3

613.0

5.1

EBIT Margin, %

18.1

17.5

 

The company and its subsidiaries operated a total of 690 stores as of June 30, or 11 more than a year ago. Of those, four were opened in Switzerland, one in Italy, one in Poland and five in Germany. Fielmann plans to open its 20th store in Poland before the end of this year.

The openings happened in the first half included the first store in the Italian part of Switzerland and the first one in Italy. Located in Bolzano, in the heart of the South Tyrol region, where Germany is widely spoken by residents and tourists, the first Italian store is doing well. Fielmann is looking for other locations in the region before an eventual move into other parts of northern Italy.

Out of the 690 existing optical stores, 126 had a hearing aid department at the end of June, compared with 107 a year earlier. Fielmann plans to continue to open about ten stores every year, while extending existing stores and moving others to better locations.