A study of 11 Italian eyewear companies of various sizes conducted by a Milan-based management consultant, Pambianco Strategie di Impresa, shows that their combined operating earnings before amortization (Ebitda) rose to a relatively high level of 18 percent in 2014 from 17 percent in the previous year. Their combined sales increased by 6.3 percent to €9.7 billion, in the midst of a difficult economic environment.

Luxottica tops the 2014 ranking in terms of revenues and profits, with sales of €7.7 billion and an Ebitda margin of 20.4 percent. The results of the eyewear giant were driven particularly by its sales in North America. In terms of sales, Safilo came next with revenues of €1.2 billion, and the company has an ambitious strategic plan, which targets 40 percent growth on a comparable basis by 2020.

The third position in terms of revenues is occupied by De Rigo with €375 million. De Rigo saw a sales decrease in Italy and Russia, but the decline in these key countries was offset by growth in Spain, America, Japan and the rest of Asia. Marcolin occupies the fourth spot with sales of €362 million, followed by Allison with €36 million and then Italia Independent with €31 million.

In terms of sales growth, Marcolin posted the most remarkable increase with revenues up by 70.6 percent following its acquisition of Viva International in December 2013. The other companies with double-digit sales growth in 2014 include a successful Italian retail group, Nau, with revenues up by 34 percent, Italia Independent with sales growth of 31.9 percent, and Look Occhiali with a 26.0 percent sales increase.

The 2014 ranking in terms of Ebitda margins sees Luxottica followed by Demenego with 16.5 percent, Italia Independent with 15.5 percent, Safilo with 9.9 percent, and Look Occhiali with 9.3 percent.