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Marcolin CEO to Step Down

Massimo Saracchi has submitted his resignation due to the expiration of his contract.

Marcolin sales rose to $180.2 million in the first half.

MILAN — Marcolin SpA said chief executive officer and general manager Massimo Saracchi has submitted his resignation due to the expiration of his contract. Saracchi will continue as ceo until Sept. 30.

Saracchi’s impending departure was revealed as Marcolin reported higher profits and sales in the first half of the year, bolstered by sales of the luxury brands it has under license, with a significant boost from the Swarovski line the Italian eyewear maker introduced at the beginning of the year.

Regarding Saracchi’s resignation, Marcolin could not be reached for further comment and gave no indication of a successor.

Saracchi previously worked for Procter & Gamble and joined Marcolin in December 2007. The ceo last year led Marcolin to a doubling of both its net profit and EBITDA, closing 2010 as a record year.

Earlier this week, fellow Italian eyewear maker Safilo GroupSpA also made an announcement regarding its top management, saying its board will propose that Robert Polet, former chief executive of Gucci Group NV, is appointed chairman.

Marcolin saw profits rise 11 percent in the first half to 15.9 million euros, or $22.9 million, compared with 14.3 million euros, or $19 million, in the first half of last year. Dollar figures are converted at average exchange rates for the periods to which they refer.

Sales rose 8 percent to 125.2 million euros, or $180.2 million, compared with 115.6 million euros, or $153.7 million, in the first six months of 2010, as several of  the brands it has under license staged double-digit growth.

Marcolin’s portfolio includes brands ranging from Roberto Cavalli and Tom Ford to Ferrari and Kenneth Cole, as well as Tod’s, Hogan, John Galliano and Dsquared2.

“The first-semester results establish a solid basis for reaching the goal of further improving the record results we obtained in 2010,” said Saracchi.

EBITDA, rose 16 percent to 24.6 million euros, or $35.4 million.

The company nearly halved its debt, which as of June 30 stood at 5.7 million euros, or $8.2 million, from 11.3 million euros, or $15 million, at the end of the first half of 2010, helped by the sale of property owned by its Swiss subsidiary.

In 2010, the Longarone-based company sold 5.5 million pairs of sunglasses and eye glasses in more than 600 models.

 Geographically, Marcolin’s Asia sales surged by 40.4 percent, helped by the Korean, Hong Kong, India and Indonesian markets. Growth in the U.S. and Europe, its largest markets by sales, trailed, rising by 1.2 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively.

 “Some markets in the Mediterranean and the Anglo-Saxon areas instead registered a slow down due to enduring  economic difficulties,” the company said.