Essilor 1Q 2012 Revenue Rises 21 Percent

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CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France— Essilor International (Reuters: ESSI.PA) posted strong results in the first quarter of 2012. The lens maker announced Tuesday that consolidated revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2012 totaled €1,269.9 million, an increase of 21 percent, excluding the currency effect, or 8.5 percent on a like-for-like basis, over the year-earlier period. Revenue from sales of lenses and optical instruments accounted for €1,138.9 million, an 8.5 percent increase over the year-ago period, a significant improvement.

“Following on late-2011 trends, Essilor reaped the benefits of growth initiatives undertaken in its different markets, including the roll-out of new products,” commented Hubert Sagnieres, chairman and CEO. “This first-quarter performance, supported by vigorous global demand for better visual health, demonstrates the effectiveness of our strategic plans, their excellent execution and the efficiency of our R&D and marketing programs, which represent core strengths to drive long-term growth.”

Sagnieres said that based on its strong start, Essilor is confident that it will achieve its full-year 2012 target of revenue growth of 12 percent to 15 percent, excluding the currency effect.

According to Essilor, its 8.5 percent like-for-like growth rate reflects strong momentum in all of its host regions and divisions, particularly in the U.S., and the successful launches of new products such as Optifog and Crizal UV. Changes in the scope of consolidation increased revenue by 12.5 percent, with bolt-on acquisitions accounting for 3.3 percent of the increase and the 2011 strategic acquisitions of Shamir Optical and Stylemark representing 6.7 percent. The remaining 2.4 percent improvement was attributable to the Nikon-Essilor and Essilor Korea joint ventures, which are now fully consolidated after being consolidated on a 50 percent basis before.

Essilor reported that business in North America picked up considerably in the first quarter. Sales to independent laboratories in the U.S. were boosted by the launch of new products such as Crizal UV and by the success of value-added products, including progressive, anti-reflective and variable-tint lenses. Sales to large chains were very strong, Essilor noted.