Marcolin swung into profit in the first quarter of this year thanks to improved efficiencies after two years of reorganization and on the back of strong sales. Revenues rose by 31.4 percent to €53.7 million thanks to progress for all the main lines of the company's portfolio and the recently launch of new collections such as Tom Ford Eyewear, Just Cavalli Eyewear, Ferrari and Web Eyewear.

However, Marcolin's sports eyewear unit, Cébé, saw a decline in sales of €0.8 million due in part to a poor winter season, affected by the warm weather. The unit booked a loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of €0.6 million, compared with breakeven results in the first quarter of last year.

Marcolin says it's still negotiating the possible sale of this French-based subsidiary. However, company officials point out that they are studying at the same time a formula that would avoid the closure of its ski goggle factory at Frasne, near Morez, in case the sale doesn't go through. The purpose is to make the production in France profitable, without excluding a possible outsourcing of the activity.

In any case, the officials add, the nearby logistics centre would not be affected by the reorganization. It was opened last year when Marcolin decided to manage internally deliveries of its products to French customers, which were previously carried out by a third party.

Overall, the group reached EBITDA of €7.2 million in the latest quarter, up dramatically from €1.4 million, resulting in an increase in the EBITDA margin from 3.4 percent to 13.4 percent.

Operating profit before interest and tax (EBIT) of €5.9 million compared with a loss of €0.8 million in the year-ago period. The bottom line was a net profit of €2.4 million against a loss of €1.9 million.

Meanwhile, net debt slipped to €30.9 million as of March 31 from €45.4 million a year earlier. The improvement of €1.1 million from last Dec. 31 resulted mainly from operating cash flow. Observers speculate that an equity investment fund may be looking at taking over the company, whose stock market valuation has risen substantially in recent months.