On January 16, 2017, Essilor and Luxottica announced their intention to combine. This exceptional announcement set the tone for a year during which our teams proved their outstanding determination to continue strengthening our reach and serving our customers with new, improved products and solutions.
With sales up 6.7% at constant exchange rates and adjusted net profit (attributable to equity holders) up 2.5%(1), our 2017 performance illustrates the strength of our development strategy. The Lenses and Optical Instruments division was buoyed by the global rollout of product innovations such as the new Varilux® X series™ progressive lens, Crizal® Sapphire™ 360° antireflective lens and Eye Protect System™ as well as strong sales across all geographies and product lines.
Robust growth in the Equipment division was driven by optical industry demand for new lens manufacturing technologies. We continued to develop our Sunglasses & Readers division with solid growth in key brands internationally as well as expansion in online retailing. Our e-commerce businesses delivered like-for-like around 15%.
In 2017, we continued to expand also through nine acquisitions of distributors and prescription labs, strengthening our presence in existing markets and entering two new ones – Ethiopia and Guatemala which together represent some 120 million people.
(1) Adjusted. The 2017 accounts are adjusted for non-recuring items related, on one hand, to expenses associated with the proposed combination with Luxottica and, on the other hand, to the positive effects of tax changes in the United States and France.
An ever-growing number of solutions in all price points to correct and protect eyesight