The optical retail companies owned by Hal Holding saw a 2.8 percent increase in revenues in 2009 to €2,032 million. Excluding currency effects that cost €59 million and acquisitions, which brought in extra revenues of €64 million, this was an increase of 2.5 percent. Comparable store sales at constant exchange rates fell by 1.6 percent. The division had a 10.1 percent drop in operating income before exceptional items to €250 million.
The group as a whole had a 3.2 percent decrease in sales to €3,448 million. The bottom line fared worse, with net income falling by 9.4 percent to €347.2 million and the operating result coming down by 10.4 percent to €441.0 million, primarily because of the reduced earnings of unquoted companies controlled by the investment group. ^
After deducting dividends and the sale of treasury shares, the value of Hal's total assets increased last year to €4,713 million from €3,341 million at the end of 2008. The dividend proposed for 2009 is €2.85 per share, equal to the average share price of Hal Trust last December, up from €2.00 for 2008. Future dividend payments will be made through shares, unless a shareholder requests payment in cash, in order to finance future new acquisitions.