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Oakley Posts Another Strong Quarter

Published July 31, 2008

MILAN, Italy (BRAIN)—Oakley sales continued to soar in the second quarter of 2008 with the company reporting another period of double-digit growth. Sales jumped 19.6 percent in the second quarter, on top of the 15 percent growth Oakley saw in the first quarter of the year.

Oakley’s parent company, Luxottica Group, released earnings figures during a conference call on Thursday.

Oakley’s growth was balanced across its product categories and channels. It saw double-digit growth in optics and its apparel/footwear segment both in the U.S. and internationally, led by Australia, Brazil, Canada and Japan, said Scott Olivet, chief executive officer of Oakley.

Oakley also saw strong growth in its military/law enforcement, lifestyle accounts, department stores and e-commerce, and great progress with sales in Lens Crafters and Sunglass Hut where Oakley now has a presence, Olivet said.

Oakley’s athletes have also given the company a boost of late. Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre rode to victory wearing Oakley sunglasses, and Oakley athletes won 20 of the Tour’s 21 stages, “our most dominating performance in the history of the Tour,” Olivet said.

Sports marketing is Oakley’s most important avenue to reach consumers, and the company plans to continue its momentum with the upcoming Olympic games in Beijing. Oakley is sponsoring about 500 athletes, including half the Chinese Olympic team, and will house 1,000 athletes and journalists in a “safehouse” outside Olympic village during the games.

Oakley views the Olympics as an opportunity to drive sales in that emerging market, as well as the launch of the brand in greater China Lens Crafters.

“We also believe that it will drive sales around the world of our sports performance product as we hope our athletes take home gold and drive consumer and country loyalty in their respective home markets,” Olivet said.

Although its luxury category struggled in a slowed North American economy, overall Luxottica recorded sales of 1.35 billion euros for the quarter, up 12.6 percent at constant exchange rates, or 2.1 percent at today’s exchange rate.

Luxottica’s portfolio also includes high-end brands like Prada, Donna Karan, Versace and Polo Ralph Lauren.

For more on Oakley’s results and the company’s future plans, be sure to read the September issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.

—Nicole Formosa

Topics associated with this article: Earnings/Financial Reports

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