This excerpt taken from the LUX 6-K filed Nov 8, 2006.
Earnings per share: 0.73 (US$0.91 per ADS)
Andrea Guerra, chief executive officer of Luxottica Group, commented: After nine months of extremely positive results, today our business is strong with both wholesale and retail on track to deliver a record year. Thanks to these results, today we are able to confirm our full year guidance of earnings per share (EPS) of between 0.93 and 0.94 even though our business no longer includes the results of Things Remembered, which historically has been contributing EPS of 0.03 on a yearly basis. Today this reflects an year-over-year growth in EPS from continuing operations of 28 percent.
Mr. Guerra continued: Cash flow generation was again one of the highlights of our results, with 129 million for the quarter.
Consolidated results for the third quarter continued to be strong all around, in all regions and in both the wholesale and retail businesses. The Group continued to outpace the sector, gaining additional penetration in key markets as well as greater visibility for its portfolio of leading luxury and fashion brands. This resulted in further improvements in profitability, with operating margin rising significantly by 140 basis points to 16.6%.
The third quarter was a record period for the Groups wholesale business, with sales to third parties a key measure of the wholesale business rising by 27.8% and operating margin up by 220 basis points to 24.5%, in line with all-time highs for the wholesale division. Main drivers of this performance were another exceptional quarter by Ray-Ban and the strength and further improved penetration of the Groups luxury and fashion brands mainly Bvlgari, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and Versace.
In the retail business, the Group enjoyed another quarter of particularly strong results, especially from operations in North America. LensCrafters posted another above-average quarter, while Sunglass Huts comparable store sales rose by over 6.0%. Similarly, Pearle Vision posted its first full year of growth, with comparable store sales up to mid-single digits and further improvements in profitability. In Asia-Pacific, the Groups optical business posted a positive quarter. Overall, operating margin for all of the Groups retail operations was a strong 13.4% for the quarter and 13.7% for the year-to-date period.
On September 30, 2006, Luxottica Groups consolidated net outstanding debt was 1,299.8 million.
Results for the quarter and the year-to-date period reflect the impact of non-cash expenses for stock options(7) of 7.7 million and 28.7 million, respectively, compared with 5.8 million and 12.4 million for the comparable periods last year.
Luxottica Groups consolidated results for the third quarter and first nine months of 2006 were approved today by its Board of Directors.