Fielmann says it has sold more than 120 million pairs of glasses since it opened its first store 40 years ago. The company reckons that 23 million people are wearing Fielmann glasses now and that 90 percent of them intended to buy their next pair from one of its stores. It adds that its customers are generally younger than those of the traditional retailers.

The company said in its recently released annual report that it is selling more glasses every year than all the opticians in Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands put together.

Across all the countries where it has stores, Germany's leading optical retailer sold 7,070,000 pairs of glasses last year, 4.9 percent more than in 2011. This compares with 6,100,000 pairs in 2008. In the medium term, Fielmann wants to sell more than eight million pairs per year and reach annual revenues of €1.6 billion.

Most of the company's 671 stores were located in Germany, Austria and Switzerland at the end of last year, including 572 in Germany. The company plans to raise the total number of stores in these countries to 780 in the medium term. Of those, 700 would operate in Germany, selling seven million pairs of glasses and generating sales of €1.3 billion a year.

As previously reported, Fielmann's external sales increased by 4.8 percent to €1.29 billion last year. Consolidated revenues went up by 5.1 percent to €1.11 billion, delivering a pre-tax profit margin of 16.3 percent. Its net income rose by 3.4 percent to €129.7 million in 2012. It has not grown significantly since 2008, when it surged by 38.9 percent to €113.9 million.

Fielmann sold a total of 5.9 million spectacles in Germany last year, compared with 5.6 million in 2011, and its sales in the country rose to €914.0 million, generating pre-tax profit of €140.3 million. That means a pre-tax profit margin of 15.4 percent, down from 16.3 percent in the previous year.

Fielmann Consolidated Income Statement

('000 Euros, Three months ended March 31)

 

2013

2012

% Change

Germany

231.2XX

224.8XX

2.8

Switzerland

32.8XX

34.5XX

-4.9

Austria

16.9XX

14.8XX

14.2

Other

7.2XX

6.8XX

5.9

Total

277,805

271,498

2.3

Other Operating Income

1,700

2,252

-24.5

Cost of Goods

58,117

61,387

-5.3

Personnel Costs

114,841

109,171

5.2

Depreciation

8,334

8,654

-3.7

Other Operating Expense

55,955

54,620

2.4

Net Interest

306

429

-28.7

Income in Financial Result

736

847

-13.1

Tax

13,409

13,225

1.4

NET

32,862

32,736

0.4

Earnings/Share (Diluted)

0.78

0.78

0.0

The company's 32 stores in Switzerland sold 423,000 pairs of glasses and had revenues of €137.2 million and together, they had a pre-tax profit of €30.3 million on sales, indicating an increase in the profit margin to 22.1 percent from 18.7 percent. The appreciation of the Swiss franc had a positive impact on Fielmann's accounts.

The stores in Austria, which grew from 31 to 33 in the course of last year, sold 371,000 spectacles and had an improved pre-tax margin of 17 percent on sales of €62.2 million. The 34 other stores of the group are located in Poland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The Polish stores sold 143,000 pairs of glasses, down from 148,000 in the previous year, and they continued to have a small loss in spite of a small sales increase to €28.8 million.

Fielmann made investments of €33 million in the past year. Of those, more than €20 million were allocated to training and continuing education. The number of its trainees rose further to 2,779. The company plans to invest €48 million in 2013 and €38 million in 2014 on production and infrastructure, and to expand, modernize and maintain its store network. Improved processes at its main laboratory in Rathenaw and in the stores should help it to raise the share held by multifocal lenses in its unit sales to more than 50 percent. The company expanded staffing levels in Rathenaw by 7.4 percent last year to cope with increasing volumes.

The company plans to open ten more stores this year and the same in 2014. It forecasts a similar sales trend in 2013 as in 2012.