Ray-Ban Owner Expands Partnership With Armani In New Era

EssilorLuxottica extended its partnership with Armani on Wednesday, marking the company’s first capital markets day since the death of chairman and main shareholder Leonardo Del Vecchio in June.

The owner of the Oakley and Ray-Ban sunglass brands extended its 15-year licensing agreement with Giorgio Armani’s luxury group.

Del Vecchio and the renowned fashion designer first collaborated in 1988 to bring Armani-branded glasses to a global market. The move is widely regarded as sparking a revolution that aided in the transformation of glasses from a medical device to a fashion accessory.

Del Vecchio, who founded Luxottica in 1961 and built it into an industry leader that merged with French lens maker Essilor in 2018, died three months ago at the age of 87.

Francesco Milleri, his right-hand man and chief executive, immediately added Del Vecchio’s role as chairman to ensure a smooth transition for a group that employs 180,000.

“In keeping with Leonardo Del Vecchio’s vision, with Armani we inaugurate a new long-term partnership model that will anchor us in the same spirit for many years to come,” Milleri said in a statement.

In addition, the company stated that, like other businesses, it was dealing with the impact of rising costs.

“Energy inflation is impacting strongly (in) EMEA which is important for luxury made in Italy,” Chief Operating Officer Giorgio Striano told analysts.

Many of the company’s frames and lenses were produced outside of Europe in areas where energy inflation was less severe, but he added that wage inflation was an issue everywhere.

Milleri, on the other hand, stated that the company was not passing on higher costs to customers through price increases as a result of efficiency measures.

Milleri was also given control of Del Vecchio’s 27 billion euro holding company.

In addition to its 32 per cent stake in EssilorLuxottica, the Delfin holding is a major shareholder in the Paris-listed Covivio and a key investor in three of Italy’s top financial institutions: Mediobanca, Generali, and UniCredit.

EssilorLuxottica confirmed in July its medium-term targets for an adjusted operating profit of 19 per cent to 20 per cent of revenue by 2026, up from 17 per cent in 2021, following strong revenue growth and margin expansion in the first half of the year.

(Adapted from RTE.ie)

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