LUXOTTICA'S EARNINGS JUMP 27.5% IN SECOND PERIOD

NEW YORK--Luxottica Group SpA, the world's largest eyewear maker, said Wednesday that its earnings rose 27.5 percent in the second quarter as sales more than doubled, lifted by two acquisitions last spring.
Net income in the quarter ended June 30 was $23.6 million (39.4 billion lire), or 53 cents a share, versus $19.9 million (30.9 billion lire), or 43 cents, a year ago.
Sales of the company--whose eyewear labels feature a battery of licensed designer names, including Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Byblos and Genny--rocketed to $270.1 million (450.3 billion lire) from $128.1 million (205.7 billion lire).
(Translations to dollars in this article are those provided by the company, based on the average exchange rates during the periods involved.)
The company, based in Agordo, Italy, acquired U.S. Shoe Corp. and Persol SpA, a manufacturer of high-end sunglasses and opthalmic frames, during the second quarter, as reported.
Luxottica's operating figures include the second quarter results of Persol and the results of U.S. Shoe's LensCrafters optical chain from May 15 to June 30.
For the first half of 1995, Luxottica's earnings jumped 32 percent to $49 million (81.1 billion lire) or $1.10 per share, from $37.3 million (61.3 billion lire), or 84 cents. Sales rose 73.2 percent to $432.5 million ($715 billion lire) from $251.1 million (412.8 billion lire).
In the year to date, LensCrafters' operating income shot up 39 percent to $48.5 million on a 15 percent sales gain to $375 million. Comparable-store sales climbed 6.9 percent.
LensCrafters presently has 606 units under that name, up from 504 a year ago. It no longer operates Sight & Save leased departments in Kmart. As of June 23, Luxottica closed the 48 remaining Sight & Saves. A year ago, there were 65 leased departments.
A few Casual Corner stores will be converted into Lens-Crafters units by years' end, said Leopoldo Borzino, president and chief executive officer of U.S. Shoe's women's apparel retailing business, now known as Casual Corner Group Inc.
The apparel unit, which was sold in June to a U.S. company controlled by the Del Vecchio family, and U.S. Shoe's footwear business, which was sold in May to Nine West, were accounted for as discontinued operations. Claudio Del Vecchio is chairman of Luxottica.
Luxottica acquired Lens-Crafters and Persol as part of a strategy to market more designer eyewear in the U.S., build its sunglasses business and build a foundation to retail eyewear globally.
Designer eyewear produced 52 percent, or $262 million, of Luxottica's sales in 1994, but only 35 percent of its U.S. revenue. Besides boosting designer sales in the U.S., Luxottica aims to get 60 percent of its overall revenue from the designer market.
--Fairchild News Service

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