2012 Begins With Mixed Results for Eyewear Players

Most globally established eyewear players have released financial results for their respective first quarters of 2012. Euromonitor International picks some of the key findings and discusses growth fortunes across companies.

Leading two continue stellar growth

According to the new eyewear research slated to go live on Passport in July 2012, Luxottica Group SpA and Essilor International SA were the leading and second ranked global eyewear players, respectively, in 2011. Their dominance of spectacles is likely to strengthen in 2012 as both reported first quarter (ending March 2012) double-digit growth over the previous year. Despite economic and spending concerns across Europe, the two companies recorded high single-digit or double-digit value growth for the continent. Although seeing similar growth patterns, the two global leaders have very different growth drivers. Brand recognition and retail chains are driving growth for Luxottica, while product innovations and acquisitions contributed the most to Essilor’s revenue gain.

Other Spectacle players

Spectacles players other than the above two recorded limited single-digit sales growth or declines in the first quarter of 2012. Safilo Group SpA and Hoya Corp, both ranked among the top 10 global eyewear manufacturers, reported high single-digit or double-digit declines in eyewear revenue as dependence on Japan and European markets constrained growth. Losing the Armani manufacturing licence has had an adverse impact on Safilo Group while the floods in Thailand affected Hoya Corp’s manufacturing capacity. Although the events mentioned above are unlikely to be replicated, Spectacles players are expected to witness a period of slow consolidation and next to negligible sales growth in 2012.

Contact Lenses

By far the leading manufacturers of contact lenses at global level, Johnson & Johnson Inc and Novartis AG reported low single-digit value growth for the three months ending March 2012. They are likely to direct the pace of global sales as they continue to see single-digit growth over the remaining quarters of 2012.