* Emerging markets to grow faster than developed markets
* Profits should rise twice as fast as sales - CEO
* Sees growth in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Asia, Turkey
(Adds further details, comments by CEO, investor)
MILAN, Feb 27 Ray-Ban sunglasses maker Luxottica
forecast sales and profit growth in 2014, driven by
emerging markets, where sunglasses are popular as an affordable
Luxottica, which makes eyewear for brands including Prada
and Giorgio Armani, said on Thursday developed markets
would boost group sales and profitability, but it expected
stronger growth in emerging markets.
Chief Executive Andrea Guerra said Luxottica's "rule of
thumb" - whereby profits should grow twice as fast as sales,
which themselves should rise by a high single-digit percentage -
still applied for the coming year.
"We have everything in place to make sure 2014 continues the
trend of 2013," Guerra told Reuters. Luxottica's sales rose to a
record 7.3 billion euros ($10 billion) in 2013.
The company makes over half its sales in North America,
where it owns optical retail chain Lenscrafters.
It said on Thursday, however, that countries including
Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Turkey and those in South-East
Asia should see compound annual sales growth of 15-25 percent by
2016 and account for half its sales of frames in five years.
Luxottica's "growth story is all about taking these brands
to emerging markets," said Rahul Sharma, managing director at
Neev Capital in London.
"Sunglasses are one of the first touchpoints for
aspirational shoppers both in the east and the west."
Luxottica posted fourth-quarter net profit of 25.9 million
euros, depleted by a one-off tax payment and an allocation of
funds to cover taxes in the coming years.
It said adjusted net profit rose 9.1 percent to 92.6 million
euros. Sales rose 0.8 percent at current exchange rates to 1.65
billion euros in the quarter.
Guerra brushed off concerns over volatility in emerging
markets like Turkey which has crimped profits there for other
"Up to the present moment, no," Guerra said when asked if he
had seen any problems in Turkey. "We cannot ever imagine growth
in emerging markets rising infinitely in a straight line - it
comes in steps."
Guerra said the company hoped to reach 10 billion euros in
annual sales in the next three or four years: "We have the
ambition finally to reach that figure."
($1 = 0.7309 euros)
(Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Danilo Masoni and Mark