While reporting a 7.7 percent sales increase to €371.7 million for 2006, followed by a 10.4 percent sales increase in the 1st quarter of 2007 to €101.5 million, Rodenstock says it remains on track to more than double its turnover objective of €750 million by 2010. Acquisitions will certainly be a way to reach that target, but not the only one.
Meanwhile the company's operating profit margin (EBIT) grew by 1.4 percentage points to 20.3 percent in 2007. The gross margin increased by 1.3 percentage points to 54.4 percent. Rodenstock says the positive outcome for last year reflects the company's innovations in the high-value progressive lens segment as well as new ranges of frames, ophthalmic sunglasses and sports spectacles.
At the MIDO fair in Milan earlier this month, Rodenstock surprised visitors with the presentation of a patented new technology, called Informance, which will allow cyclists and other sportsmen to read data about speed, heart rate and other parameters on a head-up display in their own glasses. Using wireless data transmission technology, it will also allow a car driver to read the telephone number or the name of the person who is calling him or her on a cell phone. There is no indication yet when the technology will be implemented.
To ensure growth in the current year, Rodenstock says it plans to focus on its traditional market but is placing a priority on the ?enormous potentials? of the Asian market. In addition, the company intends to further expand into the lifestyle segment.
According to Rodenstock, it is now #3 in Europe and #4 globally for optical lenses and frames. The company said that it ?underpinned? its leading position in the German market in 2006, gaining a larger share of its domestic market, but Eschenbach says raised it won market share from Rodenstock in the area of frames, raising it to 8 percent.