The group's ordinary pre-tax profit jumped in the 1st half of this year by 22.9 percent to $45,623,000, or 12.8 percent of consolidated sales. In Germany, Fielmann's pre-tax margin dropped slightly to 8.9 percent on 9.8 percent higher sales of €288.5 million. In Switzerland, it grew to €4.9 million, equal to 15.4 percent of sales. In Austria, Fielmann turned around from a loss to a modest profit of €0.4 million or 2.9 percent of sales. In Holland, the loss declined sharply to €0.3 million, while in Poland it increased to €0.6 million. Because of a higher tax rate, net income grew by only 11.3 percent to €28,299,000.

Total consolidated sales rose by 10.5 percent to €362.3 million in the 6-month period. After adding value-added tax, wholesale revenues from its industrial operations and the sales of its franchisees, sales showed a similar increase to €442.8 million. Unit sales of spectacles improved a bit faster ? by 12.9 percent ? to 2.8 million units, including increases of 10 percent in the Netherlands and Switzerland, 27 percent in Austria and 57 percent in Poland. The 2nd quarter was slightly better than the 1st one and the positive momentum is continuing.

Total investments declined to €11.7 million in the period from €16.8 million in the 1st half of 2002. Fielmann opened only 5 stores in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, taking the total up to 511 doors, and spent €1.5 million on the expansion of its production facilities.