Andrea Guerra, chief executive of Luxottica, believes that the company can reach annual sales of €10 billion in three years' time as the group continues to expand organically and through acquisitions. The group is investing significantly on Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, India and China. These are all countries that offer exceptional growth rates, leading to a possible doubling in Luxottica's sales there.
In an interview with an Italian daily newspaper, La Repubblica, Guerra said that revenues should increase by between 5 and 10 percent on an organic basis in 2014, while earnings should go up at twice the speed of sales. The company is scheduled to announce soon the acquisition of a new license and the termination of an existing one, Guerra added.
Luxottica reported a 3.2 percent increase in 2013 revenues to an all-time high of €7.313 billion. At constant currency rates, sales were up by 7.5 percent.
Total sales in the U.S., which represents 55 percent of the group's top line, were up by 3.5 percent in dollars, driven by a 6.7 percent increase in wholesale revenues in dollar terms. The latter actually rose by 12.0 percent when excluding a drop in Oakley's sales to the U.S. Army.
The group's wholesale division raised its global revenues by 7.9 percent, or by 12.0 percent at comparable currency rates, reaching a level of €2.991 billion. At constant currency rates, European sales were up by 8.5 percent, led by France and Germany. Sales were up by 22.4 percent at constant rates in emerging markets and up by 25.3 percent in travel retail.
The Ray-Ban brand delivered “exceptional” wholesale revenues in 2013, while Oakley booked “solid” growth in Europe and double-digit growth in emerging markets.
The launch of the Giorgio Armani collections met the company's expectations and sales of other premium and luxury brands in general grew consistently throughout the year.
Western Europe represented 37 percent of the wholesale turnover in 2013, North America 26 percent, emerging markets 24 percent and the rest of the world 13 percent.
Retail revenues rose by 0.2 percent, or by 4.7 percent in constant currencies, to €4.321 billion. On a same-store basis, the group's retail sales went up by 3.4 percent, led by double-digit growth in China and Hong Kong and strong growth in Latin America.
Sunglass Hut International boosted its sales by 7.1 percent on a same-store basis and by 11.2 percent on a currency-neutral basis.
In North America, LensCrafters' same-store sales were up by 1.0 percent, but those of Luxottica's retail licenses dropped by 2.1 percent. Optical retail sales in Australia and New Zealand increased by 4.2 percent, with OPSM's same-store sales rising by 4.9 percent in Australia.
In the fourth quarter, group sales were up by 0.8 percent to €1.646 billion, or by 7.6 percent in local currencies. Retail fell by 1.9 percent to €1.002 billion, but rose by 5.1 percent at constant currency rates. Same-store sales were up by 3.0 percent thanks to emerging markets and Europe. Wholesale was up by 5.4 percent to €644.2 million, or by 11.6 percent at stable currency rate.
The company is scheduled to release complete 2013 results on Feb. 27. Financial analysts estimate that Luxottica's operating earnings before amortization (Ebitda) and net debt were both roughly at the same level of more than €1.4 billion last year. Standard & Poor's, which has upgraded its credit rating for the Italian company (see the following article), expects Luxottica to report a higher Ebitda margin for 2013 than the 19 percent margin reported for 2012.