The future is bright for sunglasses manufacturer Luxottica. The Italian eyewear specialist, who makes sunglasses for brands including Ray-Ban, Burberry, Arnette, Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana, has seen a significant sales jump. Consolidated sales rose 20% during the first three months of 2006, compared to the same period last year. Luxottica also owns the Sunglasses Hut chain and has been expanding quickly, with six manufacturing plants in Italy and one in China .

Despite a tricky consumer environment, many luxury brands seem to be thriving. Last month, French luxury goods group LVMH reported a 21% rise in net profits during 2005, driven by strong sales of leather goods and wines and spirits. By comparison, Luxottica reported that total sales in 2005 rose to 4.3bn euros (£3bn), while profit totalled 342.3m euros. The company’s shares rose by more than 4% on the news.

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