GrandVision Reports Preliminary Revenue Growth of 10.3 Percent in Fiscal 2018

SCHIPHOL, the Netherlands—GrandVision NV (EURONEXT: GVNV) this week reported preliminary and unaudited sales results of for its 2018 fiscal year, which noted that total sales rose 7.9 percent in 2018 (compared with 4 percent in 2017) and 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter (compared with 6.1 percent in the same period of 2017). At constant exchange rates, the increase was 10.3 percent in 2018 and 4.4 percent in last year’s fourth quarter, according to the announcement.

On an “organic” growth basis, GrandVision said it achieved a 3.9 percent sales increase in 2018 and 3.5 percent in the fourth quarter. The company did not report actual dollar totals in the preliminary announcement. The comparable growth rates were 3.4 percent for the full year 2018, and 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter.

GrandVision, which operates ForEyes in the U.S. market, also noted that the “slowdown in organic growth was due to the higher number of store closings across several markets in the previous year coupled with a lower contribution from new stores and lower franchise revenues.”

“Comparable growth accelerated from 1.8 percent in 2017 to 3.4 percent in 2018, driven by improvements across all segments,” the announcement noted. “Acquisitions added 6.4 percent to revenue growth, including Visilab in Switzerland and Tesco Opticians in the U.K.”

During the quarter, the net number of stores rose by 54 to 7,095, the announcement noted.

France delivered the segment's highest comparable growth rate during the quarter driven by strong sales in October, which were partially reduced by a weaker year-end performance due to the yellow vest protests in November and December, according to GrandVision.

“In the Americas & Asia segment, comparable growth was 5.5 percent in Q4-18, slowing down from 10.6 percent in [the nine-month period], mainly due to lower growth levels in Latin America and the United States,” the announcement noted.

For the full year 2018, GrandVision said it expects to report an adjusted EBITDA growth rate at constant exchange rates in the range of 5 percent to 7 percent.

"I am pleased to announce that 2018 was GrandVision's strongest year of topline growth since 2015, as we achieved 10.3 percent revenue growth at constant exchange rates, with 3.4 percent comparable growth for the FY 2018 period,” GrandVision chief executive officer Stephan Borchert said in the announcement.

“We have also made a good step toward our goal of increasing the share of our e-commerce sales which were up more than 60 percent in 2018 with pure online sales in the contact lens category now approaching 10 percent of total category sales.”

He added, “Despite the solid performance over the course of the year, the fourth quarter presented a more challenging environment in which we delivered 2.9 percent comparable growth, with all three segments contributing to growth.”

Borchert also noted that despite a weaker fourth-quarter performance in the Americas & Asia segment, the company was “very pleased with the positive development for the year with 9.4 percent comparable growth overall, which was driven by high single-digit comparable growth across Latin America and almost 20 percent growth across Asia.”

He added, “Overall, we are pleased with the performance across the group as we continue to make progress toward our primary strategic initiative of driving sustainable, profitable growth across the business over the longer term.”