With the unusually warm summer this year, Fielmann saw its external sales for the third quarter increase by only 2.7 percent to €430.6 million. Consolidated sales rose about half a percent to €366.4 million compared with the same period last year, and they were basically flat on a same-store basis.

The leading German optical retailer's pre-tax profit for the quarter increased to €80.0 million from last year's level of €76.3 million, and net income for the period increased to €55.8 million from €53.0 million.

For the first nine months of the year, Fielmann's unit sales attained 6.06 million pairs of glasses, up 0.8 percent from the same period of 2017, while external sales amounted to €1,253.6 million, up 1.7 percent. Consolidated sales reached €1,077.8 million, up 1.7 percent. On a currency-adjusted basis, they were up by 2.4 percent.

The company's external sales revenues were up by 2.4 percent to €856.1 million in Germany and down by 4.8 percent to €125.8 million Switzerland. Sales revenues were flat in Austria and were up by 13.5 percent to total of €33.7 million in other foreign markets, including mainly Italy.

Fielmann Consolidated Income Statement

(million euros, nine months ended Sept. 30)

 

2018

2017

%
Change

Germany

913.8

887.8

2.9

Switzerland

125.8

132.2

-4.8

Austria

62.5

62.5

0.0

Others

33.7

29.7

13.5

Consolidated Sales

1,077.8

1,059.9

1.7

Cost of Materials

224.1

216.9

3.3

Personnel Costs

433.4

424.1

2.2

Depreciation

33.3

31.3

6.4

Other Operating Expenses

0.6

1.1

-45.5

Net Interest

0.8

0.9

-11.1

Pre-Tax

196.1

199.9

-1.9

Tax

59.2

60.9

-2.8

NET

136.9

139.0

-1.5

Earnings per Share (Diluted)

1.59

1.60

-0.6

By country, the pre-tax profit for the first nine months broke down as follows: up 5.4 percent to €169.8 million for Germany, down 32.1 percent to €18.0 million for Switzerland and down 19.5 percent to €10.7 million for Austria. In the other foreign markets, losses basically doubled to €2.4 million, no doubt because of Fielmann's recent expansion efforts in Italy.

Fielmann says it used its available liquidity to bolster its market leading position, invest in digitization and accelerate its expansion. During the first nine months of the year, for example, the group added 11 stores, bringing the total door count up to 729. There are now 191 stores with hearing-aid studios, up from last year's 176.

Another seven stores should be up and running by the end of the year. The group opened a new store in Cremona during the third quarter, raising its current Italian total to 13, and plans to open five more in Italy by the end of this year.

The company says it expects that its pre-tax earnings will be comparable to last year's figures. The first few weeks of the fourth quarter give Fielmann reasons for optimism. The number of units sold and the overall turnover should show a similar increase as in 2017.