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Oakley Sees Double Digit Growth

Published April 24, 2008

MILAN, Italy (BRAIN)—Oakley reported a 15-percent jump in sales in the first quarter of 2008 and saw double-digit growth in both its optics and apparel/footwear segments, according to Luxottica's first quarter earnings report released on Thursday.

Luxottica acquired Oakley last November.

Scott Olivet, chief executive officer of Oakley, said the company's growth was balanced internationally, with particular strength in Australia, Brazil, Japan and Germany, and in the United States.

"We saw very balanced growth between our wholesale and our retail channels despite certain segments of the U.S. market like sporting goods being especially down in the first quarter. Oakley was not affected by that and we actually saw very balanced growth in every one of our U.S. channel segments," Olivet said during an earnings conference call.

Sales in the European market were down versus the first quarter of 2007, but Olivet said that was expected due to reorganization and integration with Luxottica.

Oakley also realized a 31-percent increase in its women's specific business in the first quarter, Olivet said. The company's expansion into the women's segment is in its second full year, and includes products like sunglasses, apparel, watches and other accessories. Last year, Oakley launched a women's specific snow goggle and plans to tap into the women's performance sunglass market with a new model called Enduring this spring, Olivet said.

Oakley's performance helped boost Luxottica, whose net income was down 19 percent to 103 million euros for the first quarter. The company¹s sales, however, were up 7.6 percent.

A.T. Cross, which acquired Native Eyewear on March 24, also released its first quarter earnings on Thursday. Its optical segment was up 24 percent over 2007 first quarter, although only five days of Native's numbers were included in the first quarter. A.T. Cross also owns Costa Del Mar sunglasses.

—Nicole Formosa

Topics associated with this article: Earnings/Financial Reports

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