Safilo is reinforcing its presence in Russia and the other countries that formerly belonged to the Soviet Union with the establishment of a new subsidiary. Safilo CIS, headquartered in Moscow, is a fully owned subsidiary that went into operation as of Jan. 1, 2009. Safilo's various brands had previously been distributed in Russia by Sover, the Italian firm run by Paolo Cannicci that has a joint sales operation in Moscow, and a Russian company called Exotica, run by Vladimir Meniaylenko. No figures are available for either company's turnover on Safilo brands.

Through Safilo CIS, the group's entire portfolio is present on the Russian market, operating through four regional offices in St. Petersburg, Ekaterinemburg, Rostov and Novosibirsk. The mid-term aim is to serve around 400 selected sales outlets ? optical and department stores ? based on the proven success of the ?Made in Italy? label on the Russian market.

Safilo CIS, together with the group's three recent subsidiaries in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, has considerably strengthened Safilo's presence in Eastern Europe. The new subsidiary takes the group's total in Europe to 14.