April 27, 2018 / 3:56 PM / a month ago

Luxottica's Q1 sales hurt by bad weather, distribution clean-up

MILAN, April 27 (Reuters) - Ray-Ban owner Luxottica stuck to its full-year outlook after first-quarter revenue fell 0.8 percent net of currency swings due to bad weather and efforts to better control wholesale distribution.

When including the impact of a stronger euro, especially against the U.S. dollar, sales at the world’s biggest eyewear group fell 11 percent in January-March from a year earlier.

Luxottica expects to conclude in May a planned merger with lens maker Essilor to create a 50 billion euro ($60.5 billion) eyewear giant better able to tap demand for glasses from an ageing world population as competition stiffens.

Luxottica’s wholesale revenue fell 4.2 percent annually at constant currencies in the first quarter as bad weather in Europe in March led shopkeepers to delay orders. The company is also suffering due to tighter distribution policies.

Retail sales fell 0.6 percent on a comparable-store basis and net of currency moves as the strong performance of Sunglass Hut was more than offset by weak sales of sunglasses in Europe and ongoing difficulties at the group’s U.S. optical retailer LensCrafters. ($1 = 0.8264 euros) (Reporting by Valentina Za; editing by Agnieszka Flak)

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