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Charenton-le-Pont, France (February 17, 2017 – 6:30 am) – The Board of Directors of Essilor International met on February 16, 2017 to approve the financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2016. The financial statements have been audited and the auditors are currently in the process of issuing their report.
“In 2016, Essilor achieved another year of earnings growth, continued its mission to improve vision care around the world and expanded its operational and geographic reach. We are beginning 2017 with a strengthened leadership team and operational structure in order to even more effectively capture the growth opportunities offered by the vast eye-care market. Multiple initiatives are already underway in terms of innovation, product and service offerings. As a result, we expect a progressive acceleration in growth over the course of the year. Furthermore, the proposed combination with the Luxottica group would enable the integration of lenses, frames and distribution to open up particularly exciting new prospects,” commented Hubert Sagnières, Essilor International Chairman and CEO.
In 2016, Essilor continued to provide an ever-growing number of solutions for unmet visual needs by pursuing a strategy of expanding its scope of operations in corrective lenses, sunwear and online sales. This strategy, which is based on innovation, consumer marketing and partnerships, led to the launch of many new products and about €209 million of investment in media spend to build greater awareness of the Group’s brands among consumers.
In corrective lenses, Essilor continued to expand into new territories. In addition, the growth generated by new products, media campaigns, integrated supply chain services and acquisitions more than offset market fluctuations in a number of regions (notably the United States, Brazil and the Middle East).
Moreover, the Company continued to strengthen its sunwear and online retail activities by developing innovative product ranges, implementing new information systems and completing additional acquisitions.
The 2016 fiscal year was characterized by several highlights:
• Sales growth of 7.6% (excluding currency effects) which reflected healthy performance in both fast-growing markets and Europe, mixed fortunes in North America and the completion of 18 new partnerships and acquisitions representing cumulative full-year revenues of approximately €304 million.
• The global roll-out of the new Eyezen™ category of lenses for users of digital devices and the launch in the United States and Europe of Eye Protect System™, the new leading lens in the field of protection against UV rays and harmful blue-violet light.
• Strong growth of online retail activities, bolstered by two significant acquisitions (Vision Direct and MyOptique).
• Subdued full year performance by the Sunglasses & Readers division, despite improved momentum during the second half.
• Robust performance by the Equipment division throughout the year, reflecting the appetite of many optical industry players for the latest lens manufacturing technologies.
The Board of Directors recommends that shareholders at the Annual Meeting on May 11, 2017 approve the payment of a dividend of €1.50 per share, an increase of 35.1% compared with the 2015 dividend. The dividend will be paid as from May 19, 2017 (ex-date May 17).
In 2017, Essilor will accelerate the deployment of innovation. Over the course of the next 18 months the Company will launch several major products under its three leading brands of corrective lenses: Varilux®, Crizal® and Transitions®. In addition, the Company will step up the development of its Sunwear activities and online sales of eyecare products by leveraging the interconnections between product ranges, geographic expansion and synergies with recent acquisitions.
The strengthening of Essilor’s top management and organizational structure will lead to greater responsiveness and more effective implementation of the strategy.
Overall, Essilor is forecasting revenue growth (excluding currency effects) of between 6% and 8% including between 3% and 5% on a like-for-like(1) basis. The contribution from operations(2) is expected to be around 18.5% of revenue, reflecting the short-term dilutive impact of the rapid development of online retail operations. Due to the progressive effect of the initiatives to be implemented over the course of the year and the comparison basis, the group expects a higher level of growth and profitability in the second half of the year versus the first half.
In parallel, following the announcement on January 16, 2017, Essilor has started the process intended to create a combined group with Luxottica Group. This combination would aim to create an integrated global player to answer the growing needs in visual health. The transaction is subject to satisfaction of several conditions precedent, including, but not limited to, approval of the transaction by Essilor shareholders convened for a general meeting, and by holders of double voting rights convened for a special meeting as well as clearance from relevant anti-trust authorities
A meeting with analysts will be held in Paris today, February 17, at 10:00 am CET.
The meeting webcast may be viewed live or as a recording at:
The presentation may be viewed at:
1. Like-for-like growth: Growth at constant scope and exchange rates.
2. Contribution from operations: Revenue less cost of sales and operating expenses (research and development costs, selling and distribution costs and other operating expenses).
3. Bolt-on acquisitions: Local acquisitions or partnerships.
4. Operating cash flow: Net cash from operating activities before working capital requirement.
5. Free cash flow: Net cash from operating activities less purchases of property, plant and equipment and intangible assets, according to the IFRS consolidated cash flow statement.
April 25, 2017: First-quarter 2017 revenue
May 11, 2017: Annual Shareholders’ Meeting, at Maison de la Mutualité in Paris, France
Véronique Gillet – Sébastien Leroy
Ariel Bauer – Alex Kleban
Tel.: +33 (0)1 49 77 42 16
Tel.: +33 (0)1 49 77 45 02
Tel.: +33 (0)1 49 77 45 02