Pro Design reported turnover growth of 22 percent to the equivalent of €16 million for 2006, and sales grew by a further 35 percent in the 1st quarter of this year. The rise in turnover is being fueled by new product developments and new collections, the company says. The profit margin before interest and taxes (EBIT) was 13.5 percent, or 12.8 percent before taxes.
The company's Iris collection, launched last Fall, has been especially well-received according to management, but all its lines have been up by double-digits. In the coming years, Pro Design will focus on markets in Eastern Europe and the Far East. It sees Russia as a ?key issue,? and is searching for a distributor there while investigating the market.
The Danish company produces its eyewear both in Europe and in the Far East. The company works with a network of suppliers, each with their own ?skill and competence.? Its products are sold in about 4,000 doors globally, not including customers it does business with on an irregular basis. On May 1, Pro Design opened a sales office in France, based in Lille, adding to its other regional offices in Winsen, Germany, and in Leeds, England. The company already has an office in San Francisco for the U.S. market, which represents about 50 percent of its net turnover.
After what it calls a successful ?test season,? Pro Design plans to introduce a full-range sunglass collection in October 2007. The company's strategy for the collection is to appeal to the high-end consumer, offering premium lenses with an emphasis on fashion. The company will use titanium for the range's metal frames. All styles can be fitted with prescription lenses.
In 1999 the company was on the verge of going bankrupt when it named Allan Rasmussen as its new designer and brought in Morgens Frederiksen as chief executive officer. Rasmussen was previously the company's marketing manager, but he began to design frames that were a departure from the styles that Pro Design had been selling in the past. Frederiksen was previously the chief executive of a textiles company, Red Green, but he was also a shareholder in Pro Design. At the same time, Lars Toftdahl was promoted from sales director to general manager of the company's subsidiary in the USA, where he was instrumental in expanding its North American business.