MILAN Feb 28 Luxottica raised its cash
dividend and said it expected sales of its fashion sunglasses to
grow double-digit this year as it expands its retail presence in
Latin America and Asia.
The maker of Ray-Ban and Oakley sunglasses said on Thursday
it would continue to invest in retail chains this year to cater
to a growing middle-class in emerging markets.
Following its policy of raising dividends, the group's board
proposed to pay shareholders a dividend of 0.58 euro per share
for 2012, up 18 percent.
The maker of eyewear for luxury brands such as Prada
and Giorgio Armani confirmed the resilience of top
luxury goods makers to a deep recession in southern Europe when
it posted a 19.3 percent rise in fourth-quarter adjusted net
profit to 87 million euros ($114 million).
The result was broadly in line with an average forecast of
88 million euros by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Luxottica, which competes in Italy with smaller rivals
Safilo and Marcolin, in January reported 2012
sales of over 7 billion euros, up nearly 14 percent at current
($1 = 0.7628 euros)
(Reporting by Antonella Ciancio and Sabina Suzzi)