MONTREAL—New Look Vision Group Inc. (TSX: BCI) has reported financial results for its 13-week first quarter and provided updates on actions in response to COVID-19, store reopenings, on omnichannel and facility consolidation. The company said revenue increased 27.3 percent compared with the first quarter of last year to reach $86.6 million as a result of comparable-store sale gains, revenues from newly acquired stores and COVID-19 temporary store closures in March 2020, as opposed to essential services exempted lockdown in 2021.

Comparable store sales were up 24.5 percent in the quarter ended March 27 as a result of enhanced store operating procedures and a shift in customer behavior, New Look said in its announcement earlier this week. The retailer said its adjusted EBITDA reached $17.1 million, a 72.2 percent increase over the first quarter of last year. Net earnings attributed to shareholders reached $4.2 million, a 2,195.7 percent increase compared to the first quarter of last year.
As VMAIL reported, on March 18 New Look announced that it had entered into an arrangement agreement to be acquired by NL1 AcquireCo Inc., an entity created by a group composed of funds managed by FFL Partners, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, and the Dr. H. Doug Barnes Family. The shareholders meeting and vote on the proposed deal is scheduled to be held Friday, May 14, as a virtual-only meeting conducted by live audio webcast.

“New Look Vision carried forward its momentum from the second half of 2020 into 2021 with comparable sales growth rising to 24.5 percent despite the extended COVID-19 restrictions during the quarter,” president and chief executive Antoine Amiel said. “We continued consolidating the fragmented Canadian retail optical market, with six stores acquired since the beginning of the year. More importantly, we’d like to take this time to thank the dedication of the team in the face of the ongoing challenging environment."

New Look Vision operates a network of 408 stores, mainly under the New Look Eyewear, Vogue Optical, Greiche & Scaff, Iris and, Edward Beiner banners (the Edward Beiner stores are in the U.S.).
During the first quarter, New Look said it faced renewed COVID-19 regional restrictions in the market in which it operates, yet posted another strong quarter in spite of the ongoing impact of COVID-19. In advance of reopening its stores, the company issued stringent health and safety procedures, undertook extensive training in the form of in-store rehearsals and is providing each location with prescribed personal protection equipment.