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24.01.2008 | 07:13
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PR Newswire·Mehr Nachrichten von PR Newswire

CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France, January 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- - Another Year of Strong Growth: 2007 Revenue Up 8.1% As Reported Up 12% Excluding the Currency Effect

Essilor International, the world leader in ophthalmic optics, today announced consolidated revenue of EUR2,908.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2007, representing a reported 8.1% increase on the previous year. Excluding the currency effect, growth for the year was a high 12%.

In an expanding market, Essilor continued to gain share in corrective lenses in 2007, thanks to its operating efficiency and its strategy of innovation and international expansion.

In all, the Company has confirmed that 2007 will see further growth in both earnings and margins.

A Satisfactory Fourth Quarter

Consolidated revenue amounted to EUR708 million in the fourth quarter, a 6.4% like-for-like increase over fourth-quarter 2006, when revenue rose by a particularly strong 8.9%. Business remained very robust in the United States during the quarter. Growth was slower in Europe, but the prior-year comparative was high, at 8%. Asia and Latin America continued to enjoy fast growth.

Consolidated Revenue EUR millions 4th quarter 4th % change % change 2007 quarter 2006 (reported)(1) (like-for-like) Total 708.0 667.3 + 6.1% + 6.4% Europe 330.6 312.5 + 5.8% + 3.1% North America 281.7 273.8 + 2.9% + 7.4% Asia-Pacific 65.9 57.1 + 15.6% + 15.3% Latin America 29.8 23.9 + 24.4% + 16.4%

(1) Changes in scope of consolidation added 4.4%; the currency effect was a negative 4.6%.

Full-year 2007: Consolidated Revenue up 8.1%. EUR millions 2007 2006 % change % change (reported)(1) (like-for-like) Total 2,908.2 2,690.0 + 8.1% + 8.0% Europe 1,317.6 1,207.9 + 9.1% + 6.2% North America 1,214.2 1,156.7 + 5.0% + 8.1% Asia-Pacific 266.9 233.0 + 14.5% + 13.4% Latin America 109.5 92.4 + 18.6% + 15.6%

(1)Changes in scope of consolidation added 4.0%; the currency effect was a negative 3.8%.

Growth was Driven by the Following Factors:

- An 8% like-for-like increase in revenue over the year, of which 8.5% in the first half and 7.5% in the second. This increase reflected:

-Around a 5% rise in unit sales.

-An improvement in the product mix led by firm growth in progressive lenses (Varilux Physio(R), Definity(R), Anateo(R)/Accolade(TM)), medium and high-index lenses, variable-tint lenses and anti-reflective coatings.

- A negative 3.8% currency effect, primarily due to the decline in the US dollar against the euro.

- A 4% increase from changes in the scope of consolidation, reflecting the Company's assertive acquisitions strategy. In 2007, Essilor completed 16 acquisitions that will contribute EUR160 million in full-year revenue. Half of the companies acquired are based in the United States, representing EUR91.5 million in additional revenue. The acquisitions drive was conducted in every region around the world, with companies purchased in Europe (France, United Kingdom, Scandinavia), Asia (Singapore, China), Brazil and Canada.

All of the Regions Reported Fast Growth in Business: - Sustained expansion in Europe (up 6.2% like-for-like)

Growth in Europe remained strong, lifted by the combined impact of a sharp increase in progressive lens sales and a strengthening of the Company's position among optical chains. The best performances were reported in the Central Europe and Southern Europe regions.

- Continued strong growth in North America (up 8.1% like-for-like)

Essilor continued to expand in the United States, in particular through its network of prescription laboratories, supported by fast growing demand from independent eye care professionals. Canada reported very good results thanks to the broader product offering.

- Asia led by China and India (up 13.4% like-for-like)

In China and India, Essilor combined extremely fast growth with an improvement in the product mix. In Japan, progressive lenses enabled Nikon-Essilor to gain market share, particularly among large optical chains. South Korea, Australia and New Zealand had also a good year.

- Improved product mix in Latin America (up 15.6% like-for-like)

Brazil, Mexico and Argentina reported sustained growth thanks to sharply higher sales of value-added products.

------------------------ A conference call in French will be held today at 9:00 a.m., Paris time. The number to dial is: +33(0)1-70-99-34-68 - Code: 5402701

The conference will be available for later listening at: http://hosting.3sens.com/Essilor/20080124-208C576F/fr/

A conference call in English will follow at 10:00 a.m., Paris time. The number to dial is: +44(0)845-634-0041 - Code: 3141558

The conference will be available for later listening at: http://hosting.3sens.com/Essilor/20080124-208C576F/en/

-------------------------

Next Financial Announcement: 2007 earnings will be released on March 6, 2008.

-----------------------

Essilor International is the world leader in ophthalmic optical products, offering a wide range of lenses under the flagship Varilux(R), Crizal(R), Essilor(R) and Definity(R) brands to correct myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia and astigmatism. Essilor operates worldwide through 15 production sites, 270 lens finishing laboratories and local distribution networks. The Essilor share trades on the Euronext Paris market and is included in the CAC 40 index (ISIN: FR 0000121667; Reuters: ESSI.PA; Bloomberg: EF FP).

------------------------ Investor Relations and Financial Communications Veronique Gillet - Sebastien Leroy Phone: +33(0)1-49-77-42-16 http://www.essilor.com/


© 2008 PR Newswire