Financial analysts are predicting improved profitability for Fielmann, which booked increases of only 0.4 percent in pre-tax and net earnings last year, after a rather positive first quarter in which its sales grew by 3.5 percent on a same-store basis and by 4.8 percent overall. Analysts are now expecting Fielmann to reach a pre-tax profit this year of around €180 million, compared with €162.5 million for 2009, on sales growth of between 5 and 7 percent.

In the quarter ended last March 31, the leading German optical retailer saw an increase in pre-tax profit of 11.5 percent to €36.8 million, while net income was up by 11.2 percent to €25.9 million. Consolidated revenues for the quarter rose by 4.8 percent to €237.1 million. Unit sales were up by 4.4 percent to 1.5 million pairs of glasses



External sales revenues in Germany grew by 4.6 percent to €192.3 million. In Switzerland the turnover was up by 7.8 percent to €24.4 million, and in Austria by 6.8 percent to €12.6 million. In Poland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, sales fell by 6.3 percent to €5.9 million.

The pre-tax profit of its German operations grew to €32.4 million in the quarter from €27.1 million in the same period the year before. It remained stable at €4.9 million in Switzerland and €1.3 million in Austria. The losses in other countries increased to €0.5 million from €0.3 million.

At the end of March, Fielmann employed 13,254 people, up from 12,546 at the same time in 2009. It plans to open 20 new branches this fiscal year, and hire another 400 employees.