GrandVision Reports Highest Quarterly Comparable Growth in Three Years


SCHIPHOL, The Netherlands—GrandVision NV reported recently that its third-quarter revenue rose 13.3 percent at constant exchange rates and comparable growth rose 5.1 percent in the period. Revenue totaled €948 million in the recent quarter, compared with €858 million in the year-ago period. The increases were “driven by a particularly strong performance in the G4 and Americas & Asia segments,” the company said in its announcement. (The G4 segment includes operations in Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Monaco, Austria, Germany, Ireland and the U.K.)

In the nine-month period, GrandVision revenue increased 12.3 percent at constant exchange rates to €2.82 billion, while comparable growth was a 3.6 percent increase.

GrandVision also noted increases in adjusted EBITDA of 9.7 percent at constant exchange in the third quarter and 8.6 percent at constant exchange in the nine-month period. Adjusted EBITDA margin declined by 45 basis points to 15.9 percent in the nine-month period, “mainly due to the dilutive effect of acquisitions,” according to the announcement.

“During the third quarter, GrandVision achieved its highest quarterly comparable growth performance in more than three years, driven by strong sales in the G4 and Americas & Asia segments,” GrandVision chief executive officer Stephan Borchert said in the announcement. (In the U.S. market, GrandVision operates the For Eyes optical retail business, which includes about 125 stores across 12 states.) “One of the key priorities of driving growth and value creation is to strengthen our digital business, and to become a real leader in optical e-commerce. I am glad to report that online appointment bookings increased by more than 80 percent and that we achieved an e-commerce sales growth of over 60 percent during the first nine months.”

He added, “Our strategy of turning customers into fans, and providing a fully transparent value proposition works particularly well in markets characterized by customers who are equally price conscious and quality focused. This, for example, enabled us to deliver a successful commercial campaign in Germany, which helped us to not only accelerate market share gains but also to drive revenue growth and EBITDA margin expansion.”

Borchert also noted that the company is pleased with its progress in the Americas & Asia segment, particularly in Argentina, Mexico, Turkey and the U.S. This resulted in “a strong margin improvement,” the company noted. “Overall, the segment's EBITDA more than doubled from €11 million last year to €24 million during the first nine months, despite significant currency headwinds, especially in Turkey.”

In the nine-month period, GrandVision said revenue in the Americas & Asia business segment rose 11.0 percent at constant exchange rates, while comparable growth and organic growth reached 10.6 percent and 11.0 percent, respectively. The number of stores in this segment decreased from 1,777 at year-end 2017 to 1,763 in September 2018 following the termination of an agreement with a department store chain in Chile as well as selective store closings in Brazil, Colombia and Peru “to enhance profitability in these markets, offsetting continued openings in Mexico and Turkey,” the announcement noted.

Adjusted EBITDA in this segment increased to €24 million in the nine-month period (compared with €11 million in 2017’s nine-month period) with an adjusted EBITDA margin of 6.8 percent. (compared with 3.1 percent a year ago) “driven by the reduction of the loss in the United States and a strong operating performance in other key markets of the segment,” the company noted.

The store base increased to 7,041 stores from 7,002 in June 2018, which GrandVision said was “in line with our network optimization strategy, as openings of more than 250 new stores were partially offset by store closings.”