At its meeting on 11 April 2019, the Supervisory Board of Fielmann AG approved the consolidated annual accounts for the financial year 2018. With customer-friendly services, glasses at the best prices and wide-ranging guarantees, Fielmann has increased the number of units sold, sales revenue and profits in 2018. The number of units sold grew to 8.15 million pairs of glasses (previous year: 8.11 million). External sales including VAT rose to €1.65 billion (previous year: €1.61 billion) and consolidated sales increased to €1.43 billion (previous year: €1.39 billion). Pre-tax profit rose to €250.9 million (previous year: €248.6 million) and net income for the year went up to €173.6 million (previous year: €172.9 million). The pre-tax profit margin on sales amounted to 17.6%.
Fielmann is maintaining its long-standing shareholder-friendly dividend policy. Considering the company's positive development as well as the available liquidity, the Management Board and the Supervisory Board will recommend a dividend payout of €1.90 per share (previous year: €1.85) to the Annual General Meeting on 11 July 2019. This is the 14th consecutive dividend payment increase. The total dividend pay-out will amount to €159.6 million (previous year: €155.4 million)
The development in the first quarter of 2019 is pleasing. The number of glasses sold in the first quarter of 2019 rose by 3.4% to 1.99 million (previous year: 1.92 million). External sales incl. VAT and changes in inventories increased by 8.9% to €437.6 million (previous year: €401.7 million) and consolidated sales rose by 6.3% to €371.8 million (previous year: €349.9 million). Pre-tax profit was €67.2 million (previous year: €61.4 million) and the net income for the quarter amounted to €46.6 million (previous year: €42.5 million). Fielmann is Germany's largest employer in the optical industry, with a total of 19,274 employees in the Group as at 31 March (previous year: 18,368), of which 3,676 are apprentices (previous year: 3,243).
The first months of the current financial year support our optimistic expectations. Fielmann uses its liquidity to ensure long-term growth. In the years 2019 and 2020 alone, Fielmann will invest a total of more than €200 million in modernisation of its store network, the digitization of its business model and the international expansion of the Group.
Hamburg, 29 April 2019
The Management Board