Julbo started a partnership to serve several countries in the Arabian Peninsula this past summer with EGMA Optical Supplies, a distributor who has worked with Rodenstock for many years, and it is now targeting the Asian markets. The company has a laboratory where it can make corrective lenses for Julbo's sunglasses.

The French company, which specializes in sports eyewear, wants to return to the 50-50 split of ten years ago between its domestic and foreign sales. Last year, it raised its sales by 12 percent to €28 million, with the French market representing 60 percent of the total. Sales in France rose by more than 13 percent because of strong growth in sales of goggles and helmets to sports retailers, while sales in foreign countries increased by between 9 and 10 percent.

In another move overseas, Julbo is developing new products with an Asian fit and for the first time, is going to be at the Hong Kong Optical Fair on Nov. 5-7. Three years ago Julbo set up an office for Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand in Singapore, headed up by Claude Adam, who has been working for Julbo in marketing for a long time. Central and Northern Asia are directly covered for the time being by an area manager, Julien Salabay, at the French head office.

At the Silmo fair starting in Paris this Friday, where its booth is located at the crossroads between the two main halls, Julbo will present ten new sunglass models; a new collection of optical frames for babies, kids and adults; and an updated sun RX program.

It will show a new highly-ventilated sunglass for runners, the Venturi, which has been nominated as a candidate for the Silmo d'Or award. It was tested in extreme conditions by some of the 7,500 trail runners who participated in the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB), the annual race that took place in and around Chamonix on Aug. 25-31. Julbo acted as an official supplier of the UTMB, with two booths at the event.