NEW YORK — Luxottica Group SpA reported solid earnings and sales growth in the second quarter and, as expected, named Andrea Guerra as its new chief executive officer.

For the three months ended June 30, the Milan-based eyewear manufacturer said net income grew 16.7 percent to 79 million euros, or 18 euro cents a diluted share, from 67.7 million euros, or 15 euro cents, a year ago. In dollars, profits were $95.1 million, or 21 cents, versus $77 million, or 17 cents. Figures have been converted at average exchange for the corresponding periods.

Net sales for the quarter advanced 13.7 percent to 803.5 million euros, or $967.9 million, from 707 million euros, or $803.9 million, last year.

In conjunction with its earnings release, Luxottica said its board of directors approved Guerra as ceo, replacing Roberto Chemello, who will continue collaborating with Luxottica and will remain a member of the board. Guerra, 38, is a manager who spent the past four years turning Merloni, a leading Italian white goods manufacturer, into a global player.

Overall, for the first half of the fiscal year, Luxottica said net income increased 12.7 percent to 150.1 million euros, or 33 euro cents a share, from 133.3 million euros, or 30 euro cents, a year ago. In dollars, earnings were $184.3 million, or 41 cents, versus $147.3 million, or 33 cents. Net sales for the six months gained 10.8 percent to 1.56 billion euros, or $1.92 billion, from 1.41 billion euros, or $1.56 billion, last year.

— Dan Burrows

This story first appeared in the July 28, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.