FGX International had a 3 percent climb in sales in the first quarter to $61.1 million, but reported a loss of $0.6 million, compared with income of $2.2 million for the same period last year. This included a $1.8 million pre-tax impairment charge related to the company's coming exit from its costume jewelry business. Adjusted net income was $0.5 million.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) were $7.2 million, but the actual reported Ebitda amounted to $5.3 million, down sharply from $10.5 million from the same period in 2008. The gross profit margin fell by 0.7 percentage points to 53.1 percent.

Non-prescription reading glasses saw a 4 percent drop in sales to $26.2 million, which the company attributed to the ending in October of its entry-price products in Wal-Mart stores. These contributed sales of $2.1 million in the first quarter 2008. Excluding this range, revenues in this segment were up by 4 percent.

Sales of sunglasses and prescriptions frames jumped by 45 percent, also to $26.2 million, on the back of the November acquisition of Dioptics, which contributed $8.1 million. Without the new purchase, sales in this segment were flat. FGX's «international» business fell by 36 percent to $6.7 million, largely because of the strengthening of the dollar; at constant currencies, sales fell by 16 percent.

FGX, which is the parent of Gargoyles and Foster Grant, is selling its costume jewelry business for about $1.5 million, with the deal expected to close in the second quarter. That segment saw sales fall by 41 percent in the first three months of the year.