Essilor on Track to Achieve Revenue of €1.5 Billionin Fast-Growing Countries by 2015

Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:30am EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

* Now the Leading Distributor in Colombia and Turkey
* Growth Model Strengthened in China
* Two Transactions Completed in North Africa

CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France--(Business Wire)--
Regulatory News: 

Pursuing its strategy in fast-growing countries, Essilor (Paris:EI) has
announced the creation of partnerships with local leaders in Colombia, Turkey
and China - all key markets in the Company`s development plan.

In Colombia, a country with 50 million inhabitants where Essilor opened a sales
subsidiary approximately one year ago, the Company has signed an agreement to
acquire a 51% stake in Servi Optica, one of South America`s largest prescription
laboratories. An Essilor distributor, through the Varilux® and Shamir lenses in
Colombia, Servi Optica is the market`s leading distributor of ophthalmic lenses
and generates revenue of around €29 million.

Servi Optica will leverage the Company`s expertise and technological backing to
speed its development in this market, in which progressive and anti-reflective
lenses enjoy considerable growth potential and where over one person out of
three with vision impairment is in need of corrective eyewear. Servi Optica will
also serve as a launch pad for the Andean countries of Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador
and Bolivia, where Essilor does not yet operate. The transaction is subject to
approval by Colombian competition authorities. 

In Turkey, the Company has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in
Isbir Optik, the market`s leading distributor of ophthalmic lenses with
full-year revenue of around €15 million. Based in Ankara, Isbir has a large
number of sales offices and distributors throughout the country, as well as a
prescription laboratory equipped with digital surfacing and coating
technologies. The company distributes BBGR lenses under its own brand as well as
Nikon brand lenses. 

With a population of 80 million, Turkey is one of the fast-growing countries in
the Mediterranean basin. Following the partnerships created with Shamir, which
has a subsidiary in the country, and with Ipek Optik and Opak, this new
operation considerably strengthens Essilor`s multi-network strategy in this
market of 25 million lenses, in which high-index, progressive and variable-tint
lenses and other value-added products represent an important reservoir of
growth. The partnership between Isbir and Essilor is subject to a certain number
of conditions precedent, including notifying Turkish competition authorities
about the transaction. It should be completed in second-quarter 2013. 

In China, Essilor has strengthened its business model with the acquisition of a
majority stake in Tianhong, the market`s leading distributor of ophthalmic
lenses. Based in Dan Yang, Tianhong supplies corrective lenses featuring a wide
array of materials and designs to national and regional chains, most of which
are positioned in the mid-range segment and located in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
Tianhong generates around €19 million in revenue, much of it from products
manufactured by Essilor Group companies. 

The mid-range segment in China is still highly fragmented. Served by a large
number of producers that do not have direct access to opticians, the segment
creates differentiation more by consumer and distributor brands than by lens
performance features. The partnership with Tianhong strengthens the value
proposition of Essilor, which has emerged as a major driver of market
consolidation capable of meeting consumer demand for innovative solutions. 

In the future Tianhong will be able to source high-quality products from a
greater number of partners within the Essilor Group in order to improve its
offer and strengthen its positions with Chinese opticians. Tianhong, for
example, will promote the offer of Seeworld, which recently opened a
prescription laboratory with high-technology equipment to capture the powerful
growth potential of custom-made lenses, which currently account for only 4% of
unit sales in China. 

They will continue to distribute all brands to push value-added product,
including antireflective and mid-tier photohcromic lenses. 

Essilor has also finalized two transactions in North Africa, another dynamic
region in the Mediterranean basin. In Tunisia, Essilor completed the acquisition
of Sivo, the market`s leading distributor, which also operates in Morocco,
Algeria, Côte d`Ivoire, Cameron and Togo and generates approximately €7 million
in revenue. 

In Morocco, Essilor completed the acquisition of Movisia, a distributor of Nikon
and Kodak brand lenses. With revenue of around €1 million, Movisia strengthens
the local operations of the group created by L`N Optic, a distributor of
Varilux® and Crizal® lenses, and Optiben, which markets the BBGR brand. 

Commenting on these recent developments, Hubert Sagnières, Essilor`s Chairman
and Chief Executive Officer, said: "Essilor is continuing to deploy its
multi-network growth strategy in all its host countries, with the goal of
stepping up the pace of distribution for all Company brands. I also want to
acknowledge the launch in 2012 of operations in five countries1 that confirms
Essilor`s goal of providing vision correction solutions for everyone. This
ability to forge partnerships with local industry leaders while continuing to
drive powerful organic growth has strengthened our objective of generating
full-year revenue of €1.5 billion in fast-growing countries by 2015." 

In 2011, Essilor generated slightly more than €600 million in revenue in
fast-growing countries, which corresponded to approximately 15% of total sales.
In third-quarter 2012, these countries represented approximately 18% of
consolidated revenue. 

About Essilor

The world`s leading ophthalmic optics company, Essilor designs, manufactures and
markets a wide range of lenses to improve and protect eyesight. Its corporate
mission is to enable everyone around the world to access lenses that meet his or
her unique vision requirements. To support this mission, the Company allocates
around €150 million to research and development every year, in a commitment to
continuously bring new, more effective products to market. Essilor`s flagship
brands are Varilux®, Crizal®, Definity®, Xperio®, Optifog and Foster Grant®. It
also develops and markets equipment, instruments and services for eyecare

Essilor reported consolidated revenue of €4.2 billion in 2011 and employs around
48,700 people in some 100 countries. It operates 19 plants, a total of 390
prescription laboratories and edging facilities, as well as several research and
development centers around the world.

For more information, please visit

The Essilor share trades on the NYSE Euronext Paris market and is included in
the EuroStoxx 50 and CAC 40 indices. Codes and symbols: ISIN: FR0000121667;
Reuters: ESSI.PA; Bloomberg: EI:FP.

1Côte d`Ivoire, Laos, Sri Lanka, Togo and Tunisia

Investor Relations and Financial Communication
Véronique Gillet - Sébastien Leroy - Ariel Bauer, +33 (0)1 49 77 42 16
Media Relations
Maïlis Thiercelin, +33 (0)1 49 77 45 02 

Copyright Business Wire 2013

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