The delay of the sun season in Europe temporarily impacts Luxottica sales
Luxottica closed the first quarter of 2018 with sales down by 0.8% at constant exchange rates due to the temporary slowdown in Europe caused by a delayed sun season and the restructuring of the wholesale business in China. Wholesale division’s net sales, down 4.2% at constant exchange rates, were affected by the negative performance of Europe, where unfavorable weather led to the postponement of orders in March, a month which typically generates half of the wholesale sales for the quarter. The new commercial policies for European online operators and wholesale customers, and the completion of the restructuring of the distribution in China also affected quarterly net sales. The Retail division grew in the quarter by 1.3% at constant exchange rates, with comparable store sales down by 0.6%. Positive sales were driven by Sunglass Hut in North America (comparable store sales up by 7.6%), retail brands in China and Australia, Target Optical and the e-commerce business worldwide, which recorded an increase of 16% thanks to Ray-Ban.com and SunglassHut.com. These positive results offset the slowdown of the sun segment in Europe and negative sales of LensCrafters, which is still focused on transforming its business model. The proposed combination between Essilor and Luxottica was unconditionally cleared by the antitrust authorities in Europe, the United States, Canada and Brazil, four of the five jurisdictions where antitrust approvals are a condition precedent to the closing of the transaction. In China, the proposed combination is still under review by the local antitrust authority. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2018 and has also been approved in 14 other jurisdictions: Australia, Chile, Colombia, India, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea and Taiwan.