By  on July 28, 2006

MILAN — Luxottica SpA posted a double-digit jump in second-quarter net profits on strong wholesale eyewear sales. The company also upgraded its full-year earnings forecast.

For the three-month period ended June 30, net earnings rose 33.1 percent to 121.2 million euros, or $152.2 million. Revenues rose 13 percent to 1.29 billion euros, or $1.63 billion. (All dollar figures have been converted from the euro at average exchange rates for the period to which they refer.)

Encouraged by strong sales, the company boosted its full-year targets. Luxottica expects full-year 2006 earnings to grow between 23 and 24 percent, compared with an original forecast calling for 18 to 20 percent growth. Based on the new guidance, Luxottica will post earnings of 0.93 euros ($1.16) to 0.94 euros ($1.17) per share in 2006.

"We continued to significantly outpace growth in our sector, gaining additional market share in key markets as well as additional visibility and penetration for our brands," Luxottica chief executive Andrea Guerra said in a statement.

Second-quarter operating profit advanced 31.2 percent to 217.4 million euros, or $273.9 million.

Luxottica said that Bulgari, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and Versace were some of the best-selling licensed brands in its portfolio. The company also noted that wholesale sales of its in-house Ray-Ban brand leaped 20 percent in the second quarter.

Wholesale sales for the three-month period rose 32.1 percent to 486.4 million euros, or $612.9 million.

On the retail front, Luxottica said it "enjoyed another quarter of particularly strong results especially from operations in North America," citing its LensCrafters, Sunglass Hut and Pearle Vision chains.

Second-quarter retail sales increased 7.6 percent to 907.1 million euros, or $1.14 billion.

On a first-half basis, Luxottica's net profits rose 34.1 percent to 224.5 million euros, or $282.8 million, while sales advanced 17.1 percent to 2.56 billion euros, or $3.23 billion.

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