This excerpt taken from the LUX 6-K filed Apr 30, 2008.
first quarter on a pro forma basis, which is an encouraging indicator for the remainder of the year.
This quarter was characterized by a continued weakness of the U.S. currency, by the slowdown of the North American market and by the activities necessary to obtain great synergies from the new journey with Oakley. In these circumstances and despite these factors, Group profitability performed well. Earnings per share before trademark amortization in US dollars was just 3% lower than the first quarter of 2007, a great quarter. That confirms an outstanding resilience of the Group to face more complicated macroeconomic trends.
We expect that for the remainder of the year, especially in the second half, our business will have an opportunity to reap to an even greater degree the benefits of its leadership in the market, exploiting Oakleys seasonality and the new wholesale/retail mix resulting from the integration. We have already implemented several business-specific as well as Group-wide initiatives to further improve our ability to capture and maximize opportunities for growth while further increasing cost controls, confirming a 5% of net sales investment plan for our future.
In the first quarter of 2008, the Group also grew in North America. Net sales for the retail and wholesale segments combined, including Oakley pro forma, grew in US$ by 3% compared to the first quarter of 2007, due to a diversified strategy and a balanced brand portfolio for the retail and wholesale segments. While there is clearly a market slowdown, the severe market fluctuations appear to have been stabilized. We have been able to plan and react to these new conditions. We have been engaged in an important cost-control plan, the purpose of which is to enhance efficiency. This plan allows us to view our prospects for future quarters positively.