Indo Internacional has reported a 21.9 percent drop in its turnover to €92.8 million for the 2009 financial year, but it managed to post an operating profit of €7.7 million before amortization and depreciation (Ebitda), compared with an Ebitda loss of €2.4 million in the previous year. Thanks in part to a major refinancing package negotiated last July, its net debt was reduced by 9.7 percent to €34.6 million.

According to preliminary figures, the Spanish company reduced its net losses to about €13 million from €27 million. The losses included a provision of €9.6 million for restructuring charges, largely related to the elimination of 326 jobs. The resulting 7.8 percent reduction in personnel costs contributed to savings of €11.6 million in operating costs, which compensated for a drop in the gross margin of 0.7 percentage points to 64.5 percent.

The company suffered primarily from a big drop in the Spanish market, which still represented 70.4 percent of its revenues. Industry data indicate an overall drop of 22 percent, with declines of 15 percent in eye tests, 14 percent in sales of glasses and 40 percent in purchases of new instruments for the country's optical retail trade. Sales of cheaper private-label frames and sunglasses held up somewhat.

On the other hand, while they are still buying few consumables, Spanish opticians have recently resumed their investments in new equipment. Indo pointed out that its total sales fell by 24.8 percent in the first quarter of last year, but the rate of decline softened gradually and reached 18.6 percent in the fourth quarter. In the Portuguese market, where it recently named a new country manager, Indo grew by more than 7 percent.

Indo suffered the biggest sales drop in the area of equipment, where its sales fell to €19.5 million from €32.3 million in 2008, in line with the market situation and the difficulties encountered by Spanish opticians to obtain new financing, but the company's sales in this segment declined by only 22.6 percent outside Spain.

After various delays, Indo and the Buchmann Group decided at the end of last year not to go ahead with their planned strategic alliance, but Indo is sourcing some products from Briot on an OEM basis for the time being. On the other hand, Indo signed a deal with Hoya Vision Care that will result in sales of €15 million worth of technology to the Japanese group. Besides, Indo says it launched new edgers in September 2009 that have been well-received in France, the U.S. and other markets.

Indo's sales of spectacles fell last year by 13.3 percent to €23.8 million, but those of its new Custo Barcelona eyewear collection jumped by 79 percent. At the Mido show in Milan last week, Indo introduced its new McLaren line of frames and sunglasses, featuring among other things a patented system of pantascopic temple adaptation. The company is recruiting distributors for this new line and is hoping to be able to announce a new license soon.

Sales of lenses declined by 16.3 percent to €49.4 million, partly because of Indo's drop-out from the German market. However, the company recorded a 21 percent increase in its LifeMade family of lenses, and its I+D+I technology has come to generate annual sales of €3.3 million.

Indo recently signed an important series of agreements for its free-form solutions with Titan, an Indian laboratory belonging to the Tata Group, and with a major independent lab in the U.S.