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THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF SAFILO GROUP  S.P.A. APPROVES THE 2015
  FINANCIAL RESULTS

First year of investment and business  transformation under the 2020 Strategic Plan

Europe, North America and key  new markets performed well, while Asia restrained

Solid organic growth by the  Group’s going forward brands portfolio

Strong Cash Flow generation  and sound financial leverage

     
  • Group Net Sales at Euro 1,279.0 million for the full year, up  +8.5%  vs 2014 (flat at constant exchange  rates, and up +4.3% on the going forward brands portfolio)
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  • Adjusted2 EBITDA at Euro 102.4 million, down 13.5% vs 2014, at  8.0% of net sales
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  • Adjusted2 Group net profit at Euro 6.9 million. The Group reported a net  loss of Euro 52.7 million including not-recurring items
  •  
  • Group Net Debt at Euro 89.9 million, compared to Euro 163.3  million in 2014, with the adjusted2 financial leverage at 0.9x.

 

Padua, March 14,  2016, h. 6pm - The Board of Directors of  Safilo Group S.p.A. has today approved the Company’s consolidated financial  statements for the year ended 31 December 20151 and examined the  separate financial statements for the year ended 31 December 20151,  which will be submitted for approval by the shareholders at the Annual General  Meeting to be held in a single call on 27 April 2016.

Safilo total net sales for the year equaled Euro 1,279.0 million,  recording an increase of 8.5% thanks to foreign exchange tailwind. At constant  currencies, 2015 net sales were flat compared to 2014, reflecting differing  business and market dynamics. The performance of the Group’s going forward  brands portfolio, i.e. excluding all brands that Safilo stopped and will stop  servicing, showed growth of 13% at current exchange rates and 4.3% at constant  exchange rates.

At the operating level, 2015 gross margin moved from 61.0% to 59.2% of  sales while adjusted2 EBITDA margin stood at 8.0% of sales vs. 10.0%  in 2014.

Safilo closed 2015 with an adjusted2 Group net result of Euro  6.9 million compared to the adjusted2 net result of Euro 44.5  million recorded in 2014.

2015 adjusted economic results do not include non-recurring costs for a  total of Euro 60.5 million, mainly related to the impairment of the goodwill  allocated to the Far East business and a provision related to an investigation  of the French Competition Authority (also see Note 2).

In 2015, the Group generated a Free Cash Flow of Euro 74.8 million,  further reducing the Group Net Debt to Euro 89.9 million from Euro 163.3  million in 2014 and the adjusted2 financial leverage to 0.9x from  1.4x.
This reflected the ongoing improvement in net working capital  management, the proceeds from the sale of shares held in an associate company for  Euro 8.6 million and the first of the three compensation payments of Euro 30  million from Kering received in January 2015.

The Board of Directors has decided not to propose the payment of a  dividend to the next Annual General Meeting.

Luisa Delgado, Safilo  CEO, commented:

“2015, the first year of the 2020  Strategic Plan laid out during our investor day in March, was a period of  intense activity for Safilo.

The year saw capex investments of  Euro 47.9 million and encouraging progress in the transformation of the  business through the rebalancing of the Group’s brand strategy, development of  its go to market strategy, supply network reinvention and IT transformation.

Europe and the North America  wholesale business performed well, together with the key emerging markets of Middle  East & Africa and Mexico. We made good progress in the reorganization of  the Asian business, introducing new leadership, capabilities and brand plans,  while market environment in Brazil remained very challenging.

Our core strategic license brand  portfolio continued to deliver excellent results in terms of product and  collection reception with consumers and registered double-digit net sales  growth, while our Own core brands delivered mixed performance, primarily  reflecting the short term impact of our business reorganization and new brand  platforms.    

Safilo saw a strong cash flow  performance, reflecting good working capital management, and the improving  quality of sales, sustainable business practices and efficient business  processes are enabling the Group to further strengthen its adjusted2  financial leverage.

We are committed to our 2020  strategies and goals. 2016 will be a further important year of transition,  including the final period of the Gucci license, and we anticipate continued  growth of our core license brand portfolio to be complemented with an  acceleration of growth on our core own brands, and an increasingly visible  impact of our cost savings and business transformation initiatives.”


Economic and financial highlights

 

FY 2015

Full year 2015 Group net sales totaled Euro 1,279.0 million, up 8.5%  compared to Euro 1,178.7 million in full year 2014. At constant exchange rates,  net sales were flat.

2015 gross profit grew by 5.3% to Euro 757.0 million from Euro 718.6  million in 2014, with the gross margin moving to 59.2% of sales from 61.0%.  Foreign exchange drove a margin dilution of 80bps in the year.

2015 adjusted2 EBITDA was Euro 102.4 million, down 13.5%  compared to the adjusted2 EBITDA of Euro 118.4 million recorded in  2014. Adjusted1 EBITDA margin equaled 8.0% of net sales in 2015,  compared to 10.0% in 2014.  

2015 adjusted2 EBIT was Euro 61.4 million, down 26.1%  compared to the adjusted2 EBIT of Euro 83.0 million for 2014.  Adjusted2 EBIT margin was 4.8% of net sales in 2015, compared to  7.0% in 2014.

2015 total net financial charges increased to Euro 27.4 million from  Euro 8.6 million in 2014 mainly due to the higher negative impact of exchange rates  differences (Euro 12.7 million compared to Euro 8.3 million in 2014) and the  lower positive fair value measurement of the option component embedded in the  equity-linked bonds (positive for Euro 0.8 million compared to Euro 17.7  million in 2014). Net interest charges decreased to Euro 7.9 million from Euro  9.8 million in 2014.

Safilo closed 2015 with an adjusted2 Group net result of Euro  6.9 million compared to the adjusted2 net result of Euro 44.5  million recorded in 2014.

2015 adjusted economic results do not include non-recurring costs for a  total of Euro 60.5 million, mainly related to the impairment of the goodwill  allocated to the Far East business and a provision related to an investigation  of the French Competition Authority (also see Note 2).

 

Q42015

In Q4 2015, Safilo  reported total net sales of Euro 319.2 million, up 2.6% compared to Euro 311.2  million recorded in 2014. At constant exchange rates, net sales decreased by  2.7% in the period, reflecting the decline of all brands that Safilo stopped and  will stop servicing.

The Group’s going  forward brands portfolio showed growth of 7.4% at current exchange rates and  2.0% at constant exchange rates. This performance reflected the accelerated  sales growth recorded by the Group in its core European strongholds, mitigated  by the business shortfall in Asia, behind the weak market environment and  Safilo’s further interventions to reorganize distribution, and the softer  performance in North America behind the continued downturn of the retail business.

Q4 2015 gross profit  was Euro 179.5 million, up 0.9% compared to Euro 178.0 million in the same  quarter of 2014. Gross margin decreased to 56.2% of net sales from 57.2% in Q4  2014, driven mainly by higher obsolescence while as in the third quarter, industrial  efficiencies and cost savings continued to improve in the fourth quarter and  more than offset cost inflation increases.

Q4 2015 adjusted2  EBITDA equaled Euro 25.0 million, down 22.3% compared to the adjusted2  EBITDA of Euro 32.1 million recorded in the same period of 2014. Adjusted2  EBITDA margin stood at 7.8% of net sales in Q4 2015, down from 10.3% in Q4  2014, reflecting the sales decline outweighing a positive operating leverage of  core business investments.

Q4 2015 adjusted2  EBIT was Euro 13.8 million, down 39.7% compared to the adjusted2  EBIT of Euro 22.8 million registered in Q4 2014. Adjusted2 EBIT  margin was 4.3% of net sales in Q4 2015, compared to 7.3% in Q4 2014.

Below the operating  line, total net financial expenses were Euro 2.5 million compared to Euro 2.3  million in Q4 2014. Income taxes for the period increased to Euro 16.4 million  from Euro 7.3 million in Q4 2014, mainly reflecting the non-tax-deductible  nature of certain non-recurring costs, the adjustment of the Italian deferred  tax asset position for the future lower Italian corporate income tax rate, and  negative deferred tax asset dynamics in certain affiliates abroad.  

Q4 2015 adjusted2  Group net result equaled a loss of Euro 5.4 million compared to an adjusted2  net profit of Euro 10.6 million registered in Q4 2014.

Q4 2015 adjusted  economic results do not include non-recurring costs for a total of Euro 58.1  million, mainly related to the impairment of the historic goodwill allocated to  the Far East business and a provision related to an investigation of the French  Competition Authority (also see Note 2).

 

Key Cash Flow data

In 2015, Safilo generated a total Free Cash Flow of Euro 74.8 million  (negative for Euro 12.4 million in 2014), after freeing additional Euro 8.0  million in the fourth quarter (negative flow of Euro 2.1 million in Q4 2014).  The annual result included the first of three compensation payments of Euro 30  million received in January 2015 from Kering.

The strong cash flow from operating activities benefitted from Euro 32.7  million positive inflow from net working capital (an outflow of Euro 42.7  million in 2014), in particular thanks to the continued improvement in the  collection of trade receivables and the prudent management of inventories, with  the days on hand significantly improving compared to the end of 2014.

In the year, the cash flow for investing activities totaled Euro 48.6  million, an increase of Euro 9.1 million compared to 2014 investments. In line  with the 2020 strategic plan, in 2015 Safilo commenced its investments to  modernize its product supply and logistics network and to roll out EyeWay, its  IT systems overhaul. Finally, in 2015, Safilo sold the shares held in an  associate company for Euro 8.6 million.

Thanks to the significant cash generation of the year, at the end of  December 2015, Safilo’s net debt stood at Euro 89.9 million, down 44.9%  compared to Euro 163.3 million at the end of December 2014 and down 7.4%  compared to Euro 97.1 million at the end of September 2015.    

 

Markets and  Brands

Throughout 2015, Europe was  Safilo's main driver of growth. Net sales increased by 6.3% (+6.0% at constant  exchange rates), reaching Euro 508.6 million compared to Euro 478.5 million in  2014. In the fourth quarter, European net sales growth accelerated further, up  11.1% (+10.8% at constant exchange rates) to Euro 130.3 million compared to  Euro 117.3 million in Q4 2014.
The Group gained market share in the key markets France, Italy, Spain  and Germany, driven by good performance of the license brand portfolio, Dior,  Celine, Jimmy Choo, Max Mara and Hugo Boss in particular.
On the Own core brands front, Polaroid sales increased by low single  digits, influenced by the strong deceleration of Russia where the Group  converted the previous distributor model into a directly managed business.  Excluding this negative effect, Polaroid was up high-single digit in the year.
Carrera’s sales performance in Europe was soft in 2015, as the transition  to the new brand platform did not yet broadly translate into effective product  and in-store execution.  Smith saw a  satisfactory initiation of its expansion strategy in the sport channel in  Europe.

In North America, Safilo’s  sales performance was positive in 2015 in spite of the shortfall recorded by  the Group in its 125 Solstice stores in the US. Net sales were up 19.4% at  current exchange rates (+0.8% at constant exchange rates), totaling Euro 531.3  million compared to Euro 445.1 million in 2014. In Q4, the North America  business was up 8.9% at current exchange rates but declined by 3.8% at constant  exchange rates to Euro 127.7 million compared to Euro 117.3 million in Q4 2014.

 

The core wholesale business grew by 21.9% at current exchange rates to  Euro 442.7 million (+3.2% at constant exchange rates compared to Euro 363.1  million in 2014). Dior, Celine, Max Mara and Jimmy Choo grew significantly while  Kate Spade became Safilo’s second largest brand in North America after Smith.  The latter delivered low single digit sales growth in 2015 behind market share  gains in its Snow portfolio but suffering from a soft winter sport season at  the end of the year.
On the other Own core brands, Carrera’s North America wholesale business  was up almost double digit in 2015, driven by the strong performance on  prescription frames and a stable trend in sunglasses, while Polaroid’s sales  were up mid-single digit reflecting the commencement of its door expansion  strategy.
In Q4 2015, the North America wholesale business was up 11.4% at current  exchange rates to Euro 108.1 million, but down 1.5% at constant exchange rates  compared to Euro 97.0 million.
In 2015, sales at Solstice stores in the US equaled Euro 88.6 million,  up 8.1% at current exchange rates, down 9.8% at constant exchange rates  compared to Euro 82.0 million in 2014. In Q4 2015, Solstice’s sales were down  3.1% at current exchange rates to Euro 19.6 million (-14.7% at constant exchange  rates compared to Euro 20.2 million).

In 2015, Safilo’s operations in Asia were affected by the re-setting of the Group’s business fundamentals, as the  Group put in place a new leadership in the region and key markets, invested in  the development of key capabilities and reset commercial policies to guarantee  quality and sustainable corporate and business practices.
Sales in Asia equaled Euro 154.8 million for the year, down 9.4% at  current exchange rates compared to Euro 170.8 million in 2014 (-20.5% at  constant exchange rates), with China, Hong Kong and Korea particularly hit also  by the challenging market environment. Australia remained the bright spot of  the region.
In Q4 2015, sales in Asia were Euro 36.6 million, down 23.0% at current  exchange rates compared to Euro 47.6 million in Q4 2014 (-28.7% at constant  exchange rates).

2015 net sales in Latin America amounted to Euro 51.3 million, down 6.7% at current exchange rates compared to  Euro 54.9 million in 2014 (-1.1% at constant exchange rates), reflecting two  distinct trends. On one hand the very positive sales performance in Mexico and in  the majority of the other Latin America countries, on the other the persisting  weakness of the Brazilian market. This business scenario persisted in the  fourth quarter, when net sales were Euro 14.8 million, down 15.0% at current  exchange rates compared to Euro 17.5 million in 2014 (-5.3% at constant  exchange rates).

2015 net sales in the Rest of the  World totaled Euro 33.0 million, up 12.6% at current exchange rates  compared to Euro 29.3 million in 2014 (+11.6% at constant exchange rates),  benefitting from Safilo’s new direct presence in Middle East and the positive  performance of the business in South Africa.
In Q4 2015, net sales in the rest of the world were Euro 9.7 million,  down 16.1% at current exchange rates compared to Euro 11.6 million in Q4 2014  (-17.1% at constant exchange rates), temporarily affected by the  different timing of some shipments at the end  of the year.

 

Outlook

Safilo expects 2016  to be characterized by two main distinct business dynamics - the final year of  Gucci as a license in the Safilo portfolio and positive organic sales  performance by the going forward brands portfolio. From a brand standpoint,  licensed brands and Own core brands are both expected to contribute to growth,  bolstered by the 2016 launch of the new partnerships with Givenchy and Swatch.

On the cost  structure, Safilo will focus on two main initiatives forward, the addressing on  the one hand costs of sales and thus primarily gross profit, and on the other  hand the Group’s operating expenses.

Firstly, Safilo aims  at continuing the cost saving initiatives in the supply & logistics network,  focusing on production and sourcing optimization actions and distribution  center streamlining.

Secondly, and as  anticipated in the Simplification strategy of the Company’s 2020 plan, the  Group is now ready to accelerate the execution of its overhead cost savings  initiative. Safilo targets Euro 25-30 million cumulative overhead cost savings  by December 2019, behind expected one-off restructuring charges of Euro 20  million.

 

Other  information

The Board of Directors granted options of the Third Tranche of the Stock  Option Plan 2014-2016, identifying, on the basis of the proposal of the  Remuneration and Nomination Committee, the eligible beneficiaries. For any  further information on the Stock Option Plan 2014-2016, we refer to the  documentation made available to the public on the Company’s website and any  other documents that will be published according to the law, including the  Report on the Remuneration.

 

Notes:

1 The consolidated and separate financial  statements are currently being audited, a process that has yet to be completed.

2 2015 adjusted economic results do not include  non-recurring items for a total of Euro 60.5 million related to commercial  restructuring costs in the EMEA region for Euro 1.2 million, other  non-recurring costs for Euro 1.8 million mainly related to the consolidation of  the Group’s North American distribution network into its Denver facility, Euro  40.5 million for an impairment charge of the Group’s goodwill, and Euro 17.0  million for a provision for other risks and charges in relation to the  investigation of the French Competition Authority.

Safilo’s French subsidiary (Safilo France S.A.R.L.) together  with other major competitors and a number of leading retailers in the  French eyewear industry, has starting from 2009 been the subject of an  investigation conducted by the French Competition Authority (‘‘FCA’’) relating  to pricing and sales practices in the industry. 
In May 2015, Safilo France S.A.R.L. and Safilo S.p.A. in its capacity of  parent-company received a Statement of Objections from the FCA. Safilo has  examined the FCA's preliminary findings reported in the Statement of Objections  and has recently reached an agreement with the FCA limiting the Group's  liability at Euro 17 million. Consequently, a provision of Euro 17  million has been booked by the Group as the best estimate for the expected  liability. The Group currently expects to receive the final  investigation report and the fine, from the FCA by the end of 2016.

As part of its  annual goodwill impairment test, the Group has decided to book an impairment  charge of Euro 40.5 million of its historic goodwill. Two of its three  cash-generating units (Americas and EMEA) continue to show a fair market value  significantly ahead of book value. The Far East CGU’s business contraction in  2015, coupled with an increase in the book value driven by foreign exchange  (Euro +22.5 million) and a more uncertain economic outlook in the region going  forward, required an impairment of the goodwill allocated to this CGU in the  magnitude of Euro 40.5 million.

In 2014 adjusted  economic results did not include non-recurring expenses for a total of Euro 7.7  million.
Statement by the manager responsible for the preparation of the  company’s financial documents

The manager  responsible for the preparation of the company’s financial documents, Mr. Gerd  Graehsler, hereby declares, in accordance with paragraph 2 article 154 bis of  the “Testo Unico della Finanza”, that the accounting information contained in  this press release corresponds to the accounting results, registers and  records.

Disclaimer

This document  contains forward-looking statements, relating to future events and operating,  economic and financial results for Safilo Group. Such forecasts, due to their  nature, imply a component of risk and uncertainty due to the fact that they  depend on the occurrence of certain future events and developments. The actual  results may therefore vary even significantly to those announced in relation to  a multitude of factors

Alternative  Performance Indicators

The definitions  of the “Alternative Performance Indicators”, not foreseen by the IFRS-EU  accounting principles and used in this press release to allow for an improved  evaluation of the trend of economic-financial management of the Group, are  provided below:

     
  • Ebitda (gross operating profit) is calculated by  Safilo by adding to the Operating profit, depreciation and amortization;
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  • The net debt is for Safilo the sum of bank  borrowings and short, medium and long-term loans, net of cash in hand and at  bank;
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  • The net capital employed for Safilo is the sum of  current assets and non-current assets net of current liabilities and non  current liabilities, with the exception of the items previously considered in  the net debt;
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  • The Free Cash Flow for Safilo is the sum of the  cash flow from/(for) operating activities and the cash flow from /(for)  investing activities.

Live Webcast

Results for the  full year 2015 will be discussed tomorrow, March 15, 2016, starting at 8.00am  CET (7.00am GMT/ 2.00am US EST) during a presentation to the financial  community in Milan. The presentation will be publicly available via live  webcast at http://www.safilogroup.com/en/investors.

 

Notice of the call of the Ordinary Shareholders' Meeting
In  the coming days, the notice of the call of the Shareholders' Meeting will be  available on the website www.safilogroup.com/it/investors.html and on the central  storage of regulated information, where the Reports from the Directors to the  Shareholders' Meeting on the proposals regarding the items on the agenda, will  also be made available.

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Last updated: November 30, 2018

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