Fielmann confirmed its updated full-year guidance but warned that the introduction of restrictive measures in most of its markets to tackle the resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic could prompt it to review its forecasts. The company currently anticipates external sales, which include value-added tax, to exceed €1.6 billion, but to be below the €1.76 billion reported in 2019, consolidated sales of more than €1.4 billion, against €1.52 billion last year, and a pre-tax profit of more than €140 million, compared with €253.8 million.
In the third quarter, the company continued to enjoy a recovery experienced since May, after being hit by the outbreak of the pandemic. The improvement even accelerated during the quarter, with Fielmann posting a 4.0 percent year-on-year increase in external sales to €481.6 million despite a decline in unit sales to 1.98 million pairs of glasses from 2.06 million the previous year. Consolidated sales grew by 5.2 percent to €421.0 million in the quarter, pre-tax profit were up to €81.4 million from €78.5 million and net income grew to €57.8 million from €54.8 million.
In the first nine months of 2020, unit sales slipped to 5.07 million pairs from 6.13 million and external sales slipped by 11.4 percent to €1.19 billion. Consolidated sales were down by 10.9 percent to €1.03 billion, pre-tax profit declined to €118.9 million from €206.1 million a year ago and net income narrowed to €82.8 million from €144.0 million. Over the period, investments were cut to €55.0 million from €74.4 million but the company confirmed plans to pursue the digitalization and internationalization of its business. It expressed confidence in entering at least one new market within the next nine months.
At end of September, the German eyewear retailer had 783 stores, up from 770 a year earlier, of which 216 contained hearing-aid studios.