Sichel & Sichel and Platinum are both relatively small Italian firms with complementary activities in the eyewear sector. The former, which has belonged to the Sichel family in Padua for generations, has a strong distribution base and has the exclusive distribution in Italy of Berthet Bondet and others. Platinum is based near Treviso and has good-sized manufacturing facilities.

A few weeks ago, Platinum agreed to merge into Sichel & Sichel in order to gain strength on the international market. Together, the two firms had a total of 4.9 million euros in 2001. The target for 2002 is to reach e6-7 million by relaunching Platinum's Pal Zieri brand and the recently acquired eyewear license for the Spalding sports brand. The new collections will be presented in February and March to the opticians and the sports stores, before a full-scale launch at the next Mido fair in Milan.

The European market represents now about 90 percent of the turnover of the newly reinforced Sichel & Sichel. The remaining 10 percent is represented by its production for private label customers in the USA and Brazil. Targets for future development are the Middle East and the Far East.