The difficulties experienced on the global eyewear market have not spared Fedon, the world's leading producer of eyewear cases, which ended the year 2002 with turnover down by 3.87 percent to e56.33 million. After a drastic 18.5 percent fall in revenues posted for the first half of the year, the group actually succeeded in raising its second-half turnover by 17.14 percent. Furthermore, orders worth e16 million have already been taken for this year ? almost one-third of the group's annual revenues - representing a highly positive pointer for 2003.

Fedon claims to have 22 percent of the world market, with potential for increasing its penetration. Its sales of desk-top articles are also increasing, though they remain marginal. They amounted to just 1percent of total turnover in 2000.

Listed on the Paris stock exchange, the Italian group produces 65 million units a year - eyewear cases, accessories and leathergoods combined. Apart from Italy, it has factories and offices in France (the former Genetier), Germany (the former Kapunkt), Slovenia, the USA and Hong Kong.