MILAN — Marcolin SpA kicked off the year on an upbeat note, reporting a 44.3 percent surge in net profits in the first quarter. The Italian eyewear producer posted profits of 6 million euros, or $8.2 million, in the period ended March 31, compared with 4.2 million euros, or $5.4 million, a year ago.

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Marcolin’s newly launched brands — Tod’s, Hogan and John Galliano — helped sales advance 10 percent to 57.5 million euros, or $79.3 million, compared with 52.3 million euros, or $72.1 million, in the first quarter of 2009. Marcolin also produces and distributes collections for brands ranging from Roberto Cavalli, Tom Ford and DSquared to Ferrari and Kenneth Cole.

Dollar figures are converted at average exchange rates for the periods to which they refer.

Chief executive officer and general manager Massimo Saracchi said the group “started the year very well. We are registering an important increase in orders, our new lines are welcomed favorably on international markets and the effectiveness and operative efficiency of our company are improving tangibly.”

The company attributed the positive performance in the first quarter mainly to a reorganization set in motion last year, which entailed investments in production to improve efficiency.

Geographically, sales grew 19 percent domestically and 25 percent in the rest of the world, boosted by gains in the Far East and the Arab Emirates. Europe showed a 0.3 percent drop. U.S. sales increased 6 percent, but revenues would have grown 12.6 percent at constant exchange rate.

The company succeeded in narrowing its debt, which, as of March 31, stood at 26.3 million euros, or $36.2 million, compared with 38.9 million euros, or $50.5 million, at the end of March last year.

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