Hal reports sales increase of 2.7 percent in the third quarter and 1.7 percent in the first nine months of this year for its optical stores in terms of local currencies and on a same-store basis, compared with the corresponding periods of 2012. On an absolute basis, their revenues increased to €644 million in the quarter as compared to €615 million in the year-ago period.

For the nine months, they were up by 5.5 percent to €1,909 million on an absolute basis, or €100 million higher than in the first nine months of 2012. The growth rate was 2.6 percent excluding a €74 million boost from new acquisitions and a negative impact of €21 million from exchange rate fluctuations.

The operating results (Ebitda) of the optical retail companies improved to €79 million from €67 million for the quarter and to €208 million from €193 million for the nine months. These results were calculated before amortization of intangible assets but after amortization of software.

Hal's revenues from other unquoted subsidiaries declined, but they were up overall by 0.2 percent for the quarter and by 2.5 percent for the nine months, reaching totals of €1,027 million and €3,070 million, respectively.

Adding up the market value of Hal's shares in publicly quoted companies, including Safilo, the liquid portfolio and the book value of the unquoted companies, the net value of Hal's assets declined by 3 percent to €7,241 million. The main reason was a decrease in the share price of Koninklijke Vopak, a Dutch provider of tank storage facilities for liquid chemicals, gas and oil products.