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Sunglass Hut prepares to cut

Hurt by soft sales of sunglasses, watches and expensive eyewear, Sunglass Hut International Inc. announced Thursday restructuring costs totaling $43.5-million and a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter loss.

The retailer, based in Coral Gables, also said it plans to close 150 locations: 90 in the United States, 30 abroad, and 30 licensed locations within department stores. So far, about 50 stores have closed. Sunglass Hut also plans to shutter its high-end optical EyeX unit, with 28 stores, some of which will be converted to other stores.

In the fourth quarter ended Feb. 1, the company posted a loss of $24.4-million, or 45 cents a share, compared with net income of $4.9-million, or 9 cents a share, a year ago.

For the year, Sunglass Hut posted a loss of $225,000, compared with net income of $28.4-million, or 52 cents a share, in fiscal 1995.

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