This excerpt taken from the LUX 6-K filed Jul 31, 2007.
First half of 2007
Andrea Guerra, chief executive officer of Luxottica Group, commented: We are pleased to report positive results for the first half of the year, which were strong across the board notwithstanding further depreciation of the U.S. Dollar against the Euro in the period. In fact, consolidated sales for the quarter rose year-over-year by 13 percent excluding the impact of exchange rates. Similarly, results of the wholesale division continued to reflect strong growth in this segment of our business as the second quarter of this year was the ninth consecutive quarter for which we enjoyed double-digit growth in sales, while
representing an all-time high in terms of profitability. At the same time, we continued to strengthen our retail business, with the addition of a total of approximately 870 new and acquired stores since June 2006.
Our teams around the globe and across both wholesale and retail are working hard to make sure we are in a position to deliver another record year. Consolidated operating income for the first half rose year-over-year by 20.3%, while consolidated operating margin improved over the period by 200 bps to 18.5%. Thanks to these results, today we are able to raise our forecast for the full year. We now forecast a growth in consolidated earnings per share (EPS) of between 26 percent and 29 percent at constant exchange rates (between 23 percent and 25 percent excluding the above mentioned non-recurring gain related to the sale of a real estate property in May 2007). At an average exchange rate of 1 = US$1.35, this would result in consolidated EPS for fiscal year 2007 of between 1.11 and 1.13 (between 1.08 and 1.10 excluding the above mentioned non-recurring gain related to the sale of a real estate property in May 2007).
Finally, in North America we are working to launch a new luxury retail concept under the ILORI brand over the next few months to serve ever-stronger demand in this segment. We believe that our Group is well-positioned to serve this demand, especially since, in our view, no other eyewear retail brands are currently in a position to provide consumers with the full luxury experience they demand.