Gruppo Randazzo, which owns the Italian Optissimo chain of optical stores and the related chain of Optic store corners in hypermarkets and supermarkets, closed 2010 with total sales of €120 million, up by 5 percent for the second year in a row. On a same-store basis, last year's growth was only slightly lower at 4 percent as there was little variation in the number of stores over the 12-month period.

Careful management has enabled the group to raise its operating earnings before amortization (Ebitda) by 50 percent over the past two years while reducing debt by 40 percent, down to €37 million.

After cutting down its average selling prices by 15 percent, Randazzo is currently redefining its identity as a green chain. Its new stores will all be eco-stores and eco-corners because of the materials used, the methods of waste treatment and the choice of energy sources.

The opening of new eco stores and major renovation for around 15 existing stores should take the group's ?green? outlets to 20 percent of the total. As part of its new ?Zero Impact? plan, Randazzo has signed an agreement with E. On Energia for the supply of electric energy exclusively from renewable sources, and is in the process of replacing all corporate cars by vehicles with hybrid technology.

The group ended the past year with a total of 181 outlets, including 101 Optissimo stores and 80 Optic corners. For this year, plans are to close one store and to open ten Optissimo stores in various regions and five Optic corners in the Center and North of the country, making a new total of 195 doors.