By  on September 2, 2009

MILAN — Marcolin SpA’s first-half financial results showed the Italian eyewear maker is weathering the difficult economy as the firm posted a net profit of 7.1 million euros, or $9.4 million, a slight decrease from profits of 7.5 million euros, or $9.9 million, in the same period last year. But sales in the first six months dropped 7.2 percent to 100 million euros, or $133 million.

Managing director and general manager Massimo Saracchi underscored that Marcolin remains profitable despite the recession. “Considering the continuing factors of uncertainty surrounding international markets, casting a shadow over short-term forecasts, we are braced for a particularly challenging third quarter with a recovery during the fourth,” said Saracchi. The executive also noted new eyewear collections under the Tod’s and Hogan brands will bow for spring-summer 2010 and will be launched in the fourth quarter. Revenues from these brands will appear in the fourth quarter.

Other brands in Marcolin’s portfolio include John Galliano, Tom Ford, Roberto Cavalli, Dsquared, Kenneth Cole and Montblanc. In July, Marcolin and Swarovski signed a five-year licensing agreement for sunglasses and prescription frames. The first sunglasses collection will debut for spring 2011, followed by prescription frames.

Marcolin said thecompany’s profits in the first half helped achieve “an improved financial management compared to the first half of 2008 — through the reduction of interest expenses on loans.” It also contributed to “the recording of deferred taxes, attributable to tax losses generated in previous periods by Marcolin USA which, given the company’s current profitability, have a strong potential for recovery.”

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization slipped to 11 million euros, or $14.6 million, from 16.2 million euros, or $24.7 million, in the first half of 2008. Dollar figures are converted at average exchange rates for the periods to which they refer.

The company said lower profit margins were “clearly attributable to the slump in sales.” Marcolin noted these figures were influenced by a lack of operational leverage, “a greater incidence of guaranteed minimums on licensing contracts, as well as costs related to investments made, in terms of both structure and sales activity, to fully exploit the forthcoming launch of the new recently purchased brands.”

As of June 30, debt stood at 29.3 million euros, or $38.9 million, compared with 29.9 million euros, or $45.7 million, in the first half of 2008.

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