Breaking a long silence about its results, Salmoiraghi & Viganò recently reported a sales increase of 9 percent to €168 million for its latest financial year, which ended last Sept. 30, with sunglass sales up by 15 percent and optical eyewear frames up by 12 percent. The company said that its gross operating profit before amortization, or Ebitda, doubled as compared to the previous year, without elaborating.

The group also announced plans to start franchising the VistaSi banner, which currently consists of a network of 36 directly-operated stores. The higher-end Salmoiraghi & Viganò banner already has about 70 franchisees.

The group runs about 450 stores under the Salmoiraghi & Viganò and VistaSi banners. In the full year to Sept. 30 it opened 30 stores and expects a similar expansion in the current fiscal year. 

On Dec. 3, the group inaugurated a new Salmoiraghi & Viganò flagship store in the center of Milan, inviting more than 1,000 people, including several artists and celebrities, to a big party with plenty of food, wine and music. Located on the central Piazza Cordusio, the store offers 500 square meter of selling space spread over two floors.

As in its larger Milanese store on Piazza San Babila store, the company presents its ranges of eyewear by brands, mixing sunglasses and optical frames. The store enjoys an automatic replenishment service provided by the suppliers.

Both stores expected to benefit from the tourist flows generated by the World Fair due to be held in Milan next year from May 1 to Oct. 31. The San Babila store currently generates about 20 percent of its revenues from tourists, mainly Russians and Chinese.

For the fourth year in a row, Salmoiraghi was recently voted by Italian consumers as their preferred retail destination for eyewear.