AGORDO, Italy — Helped by strong sales of sunglasses, Luxottica Group SpA reported fourth-quarter earnings jumped 48.9 percent to $21.9 million (34.8 billion lire), as sales gained 25.1 percent to $136.9 million (217.4 billion).
A year ago, the eyewear manufacturer reported fourth-quarter net income of 23.4 billion lire and sales of 173.8 billion lire.
In the year ended Dec. 31, earnings climbed 35.7 percent to $77.5 million (124.9 billion lire), while sales grew 23.3 percent to $504.3 million (812.7 billion lire). In 1993, the firm earned 92 billion lire on sales of 659.2 billion lire. Currency translations in this report are those supplied by the company, based on average exchange rates during the periods involved.
Luxottica’s product lineup includes eyewear under a variety of designer labels, such as Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent, Byblos and Genny. Designer frames accounted for 52.5 percent of sales in 1994.
Leonardo Del Vecchio, found-er and chairman, said that the company’s primary achievements of 1994 included “the improvement of productive efficiencies and a further penetration of the sunglass market.” In 1994, sunglasses sales were up 61 percent. “The sunglass market will be one of our highest priorities for 1995 and beyond,” Del Vecchio noted.
Luxottica’s production rose 20 percent and unit production costs declined, he said.
The latest results include third- and fourth-quarter activity of Brico Srl, an Italy-based sports eyewear company, of which Luxottica acquired control at mid-year. Excluding Brico, Luxottica’s 1994 sales rose 21.2 percent.
The U.S. accounted for 39.5 percent of Luxottica’s sales in 1994; sales there rose 7.2 percent in dollars and 3.9 percent in units. — Fairchild News Service