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The Board of Directors of Safilo Group S.p.A. approves the financial results for 2009

Key highlights of the financial year 2009:
• Net Sales at Euro 1,011.2 million
• EBITDA from ordinary activities at Euro 65.7 million, 6.5 % margin
• Net financial debt at Euro 588.0 million

Padua, 29th March 2010 – The Board of Directors of SAFILO GROUP S.p.A. today approved the consolidated financial statements for 2009¹. The Board of Directors also approved the financial statements at 31st December 2009¹, which will be submitted for approval to the Shareholders’ Meeting called for 29th April 2010 (first call) and 30th April 2010 (second call).

In consideration of the results achieved during the financial year 2009, the Board of Directors deemed it appropriate not to propose to the Shareholders’ Meeting the distribution of a dividend.

Roberto Vedovotto, Chief Executive Officer of the Safilo Group, commented:

“Last year was an exceptional year in Safilo Group history. Safilo Group registered in fact a substantial decrease in revenues and profitability, as well as a deterioration of its financial and liquidity positions in the context of an extremely challenging macroeconomic environment. We acted with determination and commitment in a timely manner both on the industrial as well as the financial fronts.”

“In particular, during the first half of the year, the Company’s industrial set-up was reorganized and, at the same time, the search for a partner with which to implement a long term recapitalization plan for Safilo Group was initiated” continued Roberto Vedovotto. “In October 2009, we signed an agreement with HAL Holding N.V., today the new reference shareholder of the Group, to recapitalize the Group via a series of actions including a restructuring plan of our Senior Financing with all our lenders.

The 2009 results have been impacted by one-off non cash items, such as the write down of our goodwill as a result of the impairment tests that we carried out based on the first half and year end results.

We went through a series of material changes last year but we believe to have laid down the basis for the future of Safilo, supported in our journey by a solid and experienced partner with a strong knowledge and expertise in our sector.” concluded Roberto Vedovotto.

In the fourth quarter 2009, net sales were impacted by the steep devaluation of the U.S. dollar against the Euro during the final quarter of the year. The drop in sales was 16.2% at current exchange rates, 11.5% at constant exchange rates.
Full year 2009 results registered net sales down by 11.9% at current exchange rates (-13.1% at constant exchange rates). They were negatively impacted by the weakness of international markets, reflected by the severe contraction in consumption of discretionary goods. Safilo was impacted by the even greater softness in purchases of high-end sunglasses and prescription frames, which represent the market segment in which Safilo Group products are concentrated.

In the fourth quarter 2009, the situation remained difficult in various European markets, where high-end products have greater penetration, while improved performance was reported in the United States market and especially in Asia, where the most important gains were realised in markets like Hong Kong and South Korea. Throughout 2009, the United States market proved to be the area with the greatest capacity for resilience, due, above all, to the satisfactory business performance reported by independent opticians (which are normally used by American consumers for purchases of prescription frames).

The severe contraction in sales and the impossibility, over the short-term, to materially reduce the structure of fixed industrial costs and certain areas of general and selling expenses hit Group margins. Over the course of the year, the Group implemented a series of measures to manage more efficiently its working capital.

During the fourth quarter 2009, the ongoing market downturn, especially in the Group’s most important business segments, and the more prudent expectations of recovery of international markets, forced the Group to further write down the value of the goodwill associated with certain cash generating units, and to write down the deferred tax assets. Consequently, 2009 results were impacted by non-recurring non-monetary items totalling Euro 318 million, heavily penalizing the net result of the year which registered a loss of over Euro 350 million.

For the press release please see the attached file.
Last update: 29/03/2010, 16:58

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