Fielmann’s first-half sales declined to 3.1 million glasses from 4.1 million a year earlier, while consolidated revenues dropped to a preliminary estimate of €611 million from €758.2 million due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. External sales, including value-added tax and inventory, slipped to €710 million from €884.4 million. It expects pre-tax profit to be at least €35 million for the semester compared with €127.6 million last year.

Due to the pandemic, at mid-March the German eyewear retailer had to switch from its usual business pattern to an emergency service, resulting in a 70 percent year-on-year decline in revenues during the month of April. After the introduction of health and safety measures, it returned to a normal service and trading hours at the end of April. In May sales surged by 157 percent compared with April, but were still down by 26 percent year-on-year. The chain resumed growing in June, when sales increased by 29 percent on a monthly basis and by 3 percent annually.

To retain cash, Fielmann cut costs and decided not to pay a dividend on its 2019 results. The company also cut by 20 percent the fixed salaries of its management and the compensation of the members of its supervisory board.

For the full year, it anticipates consolidated sales of more than €1.3 billion, compared with €1.52 billion in 2019, while external sales are seen at over €1.5 billion, against €1.76 billion a year earlier, and pre-tax profit at over €100 million, down from €253.8 million. The forecast is based on the assumption that no further coronavirus-related restrictions will impact its business.

The company plans 80 store openings, relocations and extensions this year, with most of the new stores openings in Italy and Poland. In June, Fielmann opened a flagship store in its home town of Hamburg, which will allow clients to experience its omnichannel platform “for the first time.”

It also expects to enter a new market thanks to an acquisition within the next 12 months.