By  on February 5, 2009

MILAN — Italian eyewear giant Luxottica Group SpA forecast a 16 percent drop in 2008 earnings after revenues slowed in the fourth quarter, and anticipates a challenging year.

Luxottica, which has licenses with Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and Versace, among others, said Thursday it expected net profits in 2008 of about 400 million euros, or $588.5 million, and cut its earnings-per-share forecast to 0.88 euros, or $1.14, from previous guidance of between 0.96 euros, or $1.24, and 0.98 euros, or $1.27. Both estimates exclude extraordinary items tied to a real estate transfer and the sale of a minor business, respectively.

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