Sales grew by 26.3 percent to $24.6 million in the third quarter ended Sept. 28 at Costa Inc., the company that owns the Costa and Native brands of sunglasses and that is being taken over by Essilor International (see the previous article in this issue). They rose by 24.1 percent for sunglasses and by 46.6 percent for the company's lines of accessories and apparel.

Sales of Native eyewear, which is mostly intended for mountaineering pursuits, declined by 3 percent in the first nine months of this year because the bradn still has to gain a critical mass of distribution, according to company officials. It is now sold in more than 1,200 stores, at least 150 more than at the beginning of this year. Sales of apparel are likely to reach $1 million this year and to make a big jump in 2015 through an expansion of the collection.

Costa Inc. is the name of the new company that has inherited the former Cross Optical division of A.T. Cross Company following its recent divestiture of its accessory division. The company's management has said that it wanted to reinvest the proceeds from the sale on the acquisition of water sports brands or other brands of performance eyewear.

A drop in Costa's gross margin to 58.6 percent from 59.0 percent in the same quarter a year ago and non-cash expenses of $2.1 million related to the sale of the accessory business led to a decline in operating income to $0.2 million for the period, down from $1.4 million a year ago.

Combined with a loss of $10.1 million from discontinued operations, the company booked a net loss of $10.2 million for the quarter, compared with net income of $2.0 million. The company's ongoing operations suffered a net loss of$0.2 million compared with a net profit of $0.9 million.

For the first nine months of 2013, the company booked a stable gross margin of 58.9 percent, an operating profit of $8.9 million and net income from continuing operations of $5.4 million. Sales rose by 20.7 percent to $80.8 million, with increases of 17.2 percent for sunglasses and 55.2 percent for other types of products.