Salmoiraghi & Viganò, the Italian eyewear retailing group controlled by Dino Tabacchi, increased first-half sales by 22.1 percent to €70 million thanks to one more takeover, to additional store openings and to strong marketing, punctuated by an advertising campaign on television. Further acquisitions are likely.

In the six months from Sept. 30 to March 31, the group increased the number of its stores from 308 to 340. Since then the door count has risen further to reach 368 units, partly thanks to the acquisition of a 70 percent stake in a small chain called Spacciocchiali, which added 13 points of sale and more than €6 million in annual revenues. The chain's large-sized stores, located in the affluent north-eastern region of Italy, sell its own collection with an aggressive pricing policy, and offer optic and ophthalmic services.

The group's gross operating profit before amortization and depreciation (EBITDA) rose by 30.0 percent to €10 million in the 6-month period. Pre-tax profit jumped by 60.0 percent to €4.0 million.

The Salmoiraghi & Viganò stores, which are positioned in the medium-high range of the market, closed the half-year period with sales of €56 million and EBITDA of €8 million; The number of these stores increased to 245 from 224.

VistaSi, the group's entry-price retail chain, whose store network expanded to 95 locations from 79, booked sales of €14 million and gross operating profit of €2 million.

During the first half, the group inaugurated its own new headquarters in Milan. The 6,000-square-meter premises host the Salmoiraghi & Viganò and VistaSi businesses which were previously spread over several offices.