The pre-tax profit of the leading German optical retailer grew by 27 percent to €136 million in 2007, according to preliminary figures. The result includes exceptional net gains of around €10 million which relate, among other things, to a decision by the German Social Court that settles the claims of Fielmann and other German optical retailers.

Fielmann will actually get a cash payment of €14 million, corresponding to government subsidies on eyewear that had been ordered by customers in 2004 and sold after the latest German health reform went into effect at the beginning of 2005. Operating profit increased to approximately €82 million last year from €71.8 million in 2006.

The chain’s total consolidated revenues rose by 7.8 percent to €839 million. External sales after VAT grew by 5.8 percent to €984 million, involving the sale of a total of 6 million glasses, up from 5.8 million. According to company officials, the months of September and December were rather soft, but the new year has started out strongly.

The number of Fielmann stores increased by the end of the year to 599, compared with 571 one year earlier, and the company is planning to add 30 stores in 2008. Fielmann employed a total of 11,858 persons at the end of last year, including 1,941 trainees. This compares with 11,160 employees at the end of 2006, including 1,715 trainees.

The supervisory and management boards are proposing a 17 percent increase in the annual dividend to €1.40.