Safilo's 2015 financial report and its remuneration policy were rejected at the company's annual meeting earlier this month by some minority shareholders, including the founding Tabacchi family, the asset management unit of an Italian insurance giant, Generali, and some investment funds. However, the company obtained the support of its main shareholder, the Dutch company Hal Holding, which has a 42.2 percent stake in Safilo and owns GrandVision.
The group's results were finally approved by 87 percent of the capital represented, but rejected by Only 3T, the holding company of the Tabacchis, which owns 9.2 percent of Safilo. The remuneration policy was cleared by 82 percent of the capital, but opposed by the Tabacchis, Generali and about 20 percent of the funds present at the meeting.
During the annual general meeting, held on April 27, Benedetto Costantino, who represented Only 3T, described the 2015 results as “sharply negative, out of sync with the ambitious business plan that promised results from 2015.” As reported, Safilo booked an 8.5 percent rise in full-year sales to €1,279 million for last year, aided by favorable foreign exchange rates. At constant currency rates, sales were flat. The group posted a €52.7 million loss against the profit of €39.1 million of a year earlier.
The company's chief executive, Luisa Delgado, confirmed the group's business plan presented in March 2015, which aims for sales of €1,600-1,700 million in 2020 and a doubling of Ebita compared with the adjusted €118.4 million posted in 2014. She stressed that the management is reshaping and investing in the company to ensure its sustainable development, noting that its plants were 15 years behind the competition.
Delgado said that the group is aiming to streamline its structure and confirmed plans to reduce the number of distribution centers to six from an initial 20. The group already closed a distribution center in the U.S. and in Scotland and is due to make further announcement this year regarding the closure of sites in Asia and Canada.
Safilo is also selling its 23 percent stake in the Hong Kong eyewear manufacturer Elegance, the Hong Kong-based eyewear manufacturer, which it described as an unreliable supplier that is not financially sound. The group will focus on its Chinese components facility in Souzhou, which will now also produce finished products.