Byline: Alessandra Ilari

MILAN — Sales, earnings and operating profits registered robust increases at Safilo Group last year.
The Padua, Italy-based eyewear firm registered a 41 percent increase in net income, to $61 million, as operating profits climbed 28 percent, to $109 million, versus 2000 levels.
Sales came in at $735 million, 23 percent above prior-year levels.
Vittorio Tabacchi, Safilo Group’s chairman, expects growth in 2002 to approximate last year’s results due to recently introduced collections of Dior Homme, Yves Saint Laurent and Saks Fifth Avenue.
“Notwithstanding a strong international crisis, we managed to reach our targets and to grow homogeneously in all markets,” said Tabacchi. “With a more solid distribution center and strong retail sales, we hope to post similar results this year.”
Safilo’s board also named a new general manager, Roberto Vedovotto, formerly at Morgan Stanley, to supervise the group’s corporate finance and new business activities.
Safilo Group’s portfolio of brands includes Gucci, Polo Ralph Lauren, Diesel, Valentino, Kate Spade and Burberry.

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