That's the ambitious goal set by Fielmann for the longer term. Tthe German retail group's supervisory board has been discussing lately possible acquisitions in Spain, Northern Italy and Britain, where its successful discount format seems to have the biggest potential. In terms of volume, Fielmann claims to have reached a 42 percent market share in the downward German market last year, and it's targeting a 49 percent share in the medium term.

The overall sales target is e1 billion in the medium term and e1.5 billion in the longer term. The goal for this year is a turnover of more than e800 million, with sales of 5.1 milion pairs of glasses, as compared to 5 million in 2001.



As previously reported, Fielmann's sales increased by 7.3 percent to e761 million last year. Excluding franchises, the wholesale business and agents, consolidated sales rose by 7.3 percent to e620 million, but the net profit rose by only 1.8 percent to e39.2 million, due to excessive personnel costs. Its sales in Austria and Switzerland grew by 19.5 and 25.6 percent, respectively, giving the group market shares of 23 and 12 percent in volume. The immediate target in Holland, the newest market for Fielmann, is a 13 percent market share.

Aside from possible acquisitions, Fielmann plans to spend only e38 million this year, of which e11 million will go to open 10 new stores. The recent completion of Fielmann's new e32 million production and logistic center in Rathenaw will help improve operating earnings this year.

Fielmann sees potential for higher sales of sunglasses and contact lenses in its own stores. Last year, its contact lens sales grew by 22 percent and they are expected to double in the coming years.