Safilo has extended for four years its license agreement to design, produce and sell worldwide the brands Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs. The license was scheduled to end on Dec. 31, 2011, but was prolonged to Dec. 31, 2015. The company described Marc Jacobs as one of the most promising and fastest-growing luxury brands.

The firm also expressed confidence in striking deals to renew the main licenses expiring by the end of 2011, now that its financial situation has been cleaned up. The licenses Bottega Veneta, Diesel, 55 DSL, Dior, Kate Spade, Juicy Couture and Yves Saint Laurent expire at the end of the year. Nine West, Saks Fifth Avenue, Valentino and J.LO by Jennifer Lopez terminate at the end of 2011. These brands represent about 23 percent of Safilo's sales. The eyewear company is currently in talks with Bottega Veneta, Diesel, 55 DSL, Dior, Juicy Couture and Yves Saint Laurent. It previously expressed doubts about reaching a deal to keep Diesel and 55 DSL.

Licenses represent about 80 percent of Safilo's revenues, the remainder being achieved by house brands. The four main licensees, Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani, Gucci and Dior, total around 45 percent of sales.

The company reiterated its intention to remain separate from its main shareholder, the Dutch conglomerate Hal, and said that there are no plans to integrate the two companies' wholesale and retail activities.

Safilo previously sold the Australian chain Just Spectacles and the Spanish retailer Loop Vision to Hal. The Dutch group also has an option to buy from Safilo, for a minimum of €6.1 million, a 100 percent stake in the Mexican chains Sunglass Island and Island Optical. Safilo currently owns 60 percent of the stores and is in talks to buy the remainder from the Mexican minority shareholder. The price Safilo is due to receive from Hal for the asset will be adjusted to take into account the price paid for the 40 percent stake and other factors.

Safilo noted that sales at the Mexican stores are growing and there is «no rush» to reach a settlement, which has to be satisfactory for all parties involved. The Italian firm again ruled out selling its upmarket U.S. chain, Solstice.