News Topic: Diagnostic Instruments

Essilor Boosts Revenue in 2009, Sees More Gains in ’10

03/04/2010 0 Comments

News Type: 
Business News

CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France—Essilor International (ESSI.PA: Reuters) reported today that it made significant gains in 2009, despite the recessionary economy and what the company characterized as “an unprecedented slowdown in the ophthalmic optical market.”

At its board of directors meeting held today in Paris, the company predicted an improvement in the economic environment in 2010.

In financial statements for the year ended Dec. 31, 2009, Essilor said it generated 3.3 billion Euros in revenue, a 6.3 percent increase over 2008. On a like-for-like basis, revenue grew by 0.1 percent, reflecting stable lens revenue and a 2.3 increase in instrument revenue. Contribution from operations was 594.4 million Euros, up 7.9 percent from year ago. Consolidation of companies acquired in 2008 and 2009 accounted for 4.9 percent of reported growth, of which 2.3 percent was from Satisloh, Essilor reported.

Essilor cited several key factors that contributed to its growth in 2009, including successful new products such as the new Crizal anti-reflective lens, Xperio polarizing lens, personalized lenses incorporating its proprietary “eyecode” technology and the Mr. Blue edger. Additional growth factors included faster deployment of mid-range products, the entry of 27 new companies into the company in all regions, and pursuit of productivity gains and operational efficiency.

Essilor said unit sales in 2009 declined slightly in mature countries but rose sharply in emerging markets. Revenue on a like-for-like basis declined 2.7 percent in Europe, to 1.3 billion Euros. The company generated like-for-like revenue of 1.4 billion Euros in North America, flat with revenue for 2008. In the U.S., firm sales to eyecare professionals and independent laboratories offset difficulties encountered with certain optical chains, Essilor said.

In Asia, like-for-like revenue rose 12.3 percent overall during the year, to 344.7 million Euros. Performance was satisfactory in every country except Japan. Growth was led in India, China and South Korea by sales of specialty lenses and other new products, and lifted in Australia by strong demand for the Varilux and Crizal lines. Revenue also saw sustained growth in South Africa. Revenue in Latin America rose 7 percent in 2009, to 134 million Euros, despite the economic slowdown.

Essilor noted that in a particularly challenging year for the capital equipment industry, Satisloh held the decline in sales to around 7 percent, enabling the company to increase its market share.

Consolidated revenue for the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31, 2009, stood at 799.4 million Euros, up 0.4 percent year-on-year as reported and 1.5 percent like-for-like. Business conditions improved in every operating region during the quarter, including the laboratory equipment business, Essilor reported. Demand turned up noticeably in North America and significantly in Latin America, while growth remained strong in Asia.

Six new prescription laboratories were acquired in Europe, the U.S., India and South Africa, along with a distributor in Brazil, for total additional full-year revenue of 23 million Euros.

Essilor predicted that the economy will improve in 2010, with a progressive recovery in global activity. The company said it intends to pursue new product launches, geographic expansion and the acceleration of “bolt-on acquisitions.” Its acquisition of FGX International, announced in December, 2009, is expected to close this month.

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