The Group's consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 20211, showed that revenues rose 3.3% to 969.6 million while adjusted EBITDA was 81.5 million compared to 64.8 million in 2019.
Angelo Trocchia, Safilo Chief Executive Officer commented:
“The extraordinary work done in 2021 by Safilo people around the world was rewarded with very important results, which highlighted a strong rebound of the business compared to 2020 and, more meaningfully, a significant
improvement compared to the pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
Our net sales reached approximately €970 million, up 26.3% from 2020 lows and 7.5% above 2019 at constant exchange rates, while the recovery at the operating level saw our adjusted EBITDA2,4 margin in 2021 rise to 8.4% of sales from break-even in 2020 and the 6.9% posted in 2019.
There were different drivers behind our strong results last year, reflecting both the business environment in which we played, as well as our specific action plans in the different markets, as we continued to implement the strategic choices
we took back in 2019 to deliver our medium-term business plan.
We closed the year over delivering our initial expectations, with our business performance very much driven by our organic3 sales, up 10.5% compared to 2019, and the effectiveness of the brand portfolio overhaul strategy implemented
over the recent years through the addition of new proprietary and licensed brands”.
The driving market
“North America was our key growth driver against the backdrop of a strong post-Covid rebound in the United States and our strategic choice, initiated some years ago, to invest in the market through a stronger commercial organization”.
Record breaking year for Smith
“2021 was a record year for Smith, which became the biggest brand in our portfolio. The significant development of its online channel, enhanced at the beginning of the year with the launch of a new e-commerce site, together with the
growth in Bleners e-com sales and the increase experienced by internet pure players confirm the strength of our digital transformation strategy, increasing the online business to 13.4% of sales, up from 12.7% in 2020 and 3.9% in 2019”.
The optical business
“Last year our business was once again very competitive in the core channel of the independent opticians, certainly in the United States and in our key European and emerging markets, where prescription frames were clearly the winning
product category. In 2021, we were able to make significant progress towards our goal to grow the share of our optical business, which we have been executing through a number of important projects: from strengthening our product assortment to the full deployment in Europe of the B2B platform “You&Safilo”, which is helping to consolidate and expand our partnership with opticians, greatly improving their involvement, our offer and the quality of our services”.
The capital increase
“From an economic standpoint, we are very pleased to have strengthened our economic profile, both through the rebound of the top line and thanks to the completion of our overheads cost reduction program and the good progression of our cost of goods sold savings plan. This work, combined with the strength of our products and business actions, has also allowed us to absorb the inflationary pressures, most evident for us in the surge of transportation costs.
In 2021, we successfully completed a €135 million capital increase in early November which has significantly reduced our net debt and the burden of our future financial interests. A corporate action that has also allowed us to further strengthen the Group’s capital structure, in support of our future growth”.
“It is indeed with this latter objective in mind that we entered 2022, firmly convinced that Safilo is today more competitive to seize the many opportunities offered by the healthy and growing eyewear industry in which we operate, ready to face the challenges posed by a business environment still influenced by the developments of the health situation in the various countries.
Furthermore, the past weeks have seen tragic events unfolding in Ukraine. Our thoughts are with the affected population in these difficult hours, while we carefully monitor the impacts to our business. In continuity with the path started in recent years, in 2022 we aim to further strengthen our commitment to People, Product and Planet, the three assets at the heart of our sustainability strategy, with initiatives aimed at consolidating our initial progress and laying the ground for further action to embed them in the fabric of our business functions and operations.”