Essilor pursues growth strategy, confirms 2013 objectives

  Essilor pursues growth strategy, confirms 2013 objectives

  *A quarter impacted by calendar effects and high comparatives
  *Strengthening presence in fast-growing countries
  *Deploying innovations in every market

Business Wire

CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France -- April 25, 2013

RegulatoryNews:

Essilor International (Paris:EI), the world leader in ophthalmic optics, today
announced consolidated revenue of €1,276.3 million for the three months ended
March 31, 2013. Compared with first-quarter 2012, this represented an increase
of 2.1%, excluding the currency effect.

Consolidated revenue

                                                               
                                      Change            Change           Change
In €          Q1 2013  Change                                       (currency
millions                 (reported)   (like-for-like)   (scope of        effect)
                                                        consolidation)
Lenses and
Optical       1,148.7  +0.9%       +0.2%            +2.4%           -1.7%
Instruments
North
America ^     452.9    +0.6%       -0.4%            +1.8%           -0.8%
(a)
Europe        400.2    -1.3%       -1.2%            +0.0%           -0.1%
Asia-Pacific
& Africa      216.8    +5.5%       +1.1 %           +7.7%           -3.3%
^(b)
Latin
America ^     78.8     +1.7%       +8.2 %           +4.1%           -10.6%
(a)
Equipment     42.5     -7.1%       -4.5%            -1.5%           -1.1%
Readers       85.1     -0.1%       +0.6%            +0.0%           -0.7%
TOTAL         1,276.3  +0.5%       +0.0%            +2.1%           -1.6%

(a) Previously reported in the North America region, Mexico is now included in
the Latin America region. It represented revenue of €5.5 million in
first-quarter 2012.

(b) The change in the method of consolidation for Essilor Korea, fully
consolidated as from February 1, 2012, added €2.9million to revenue in
first-quarter 2013, representing a 1.5% impact reported under “Changes in the
scope of consolidation” in the Asia-Pacific & Africa region.

Commenting on these figures, Hubert Sagnières, Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer, said:

“The Company’s first-quarter performance is in line with our expectations.
Growth in the ophthalmic optics market remains driven by demand for improved
visual health and Essilor pursues its value-creation strategy based on
innovation, partnerships, and a highly efficient production base.

“In the coming quarters, we will leverage our networks to accelerate and
expand the distribution of value-added products, such as Crizal^® UV and
Varilux^® S series. New partnerships will also strengthen our positions in
fast-growing countries. Despite the economic uncertainties weighing on
consumer spending in certain regions of the world, we remain confident that we
will achieve our objectives for 2013.”

First quarter impacted by calendar and other effects

First-quarter revenue was stable on a like-for-like basis, reflecting several
unfavorable effects:

  *The fewer number of billing days around the world, especially in Europe
    and Latin America. Overall, the negative impact on revenue growth is
    estimated at 1.9%.
  *A highly unfavorable comparison with first quarter 2012, when the 8.5%
    like-for-like growth was lifted by contributions from several sales
    contracts in the United States and Europe and from exceptional sales
    volumes in Europe and Asia-Pacific.
  *Unfavorable weather conditions, especially during March in the United
    States and Europe, which impacted optical store traffic and significantly
    weakened sales of sunglasses.

Changes in the scope of consolidation increased revenue for the period by
2.1%. This included bolt-on acquisitions^1, which added 1.9%, and additional
revenue resulting from the change in the method of consolidation for Essilor
Korea, which added 0.2%.

Lastly, the 1.6% negative currency effect mainly reflected the rise in the
euro against the Brazilian real, the US dollar, the Japanese yen and the
Indian rupee.

Revenue by region and by division

North America

  *Ongoing dynamic demand from independent eyecare professionals thanks to
    value-added products (Crizal^® UV, Xperio^®).
  *Business with optical chains impacted by high prior-year comparatives.

Europe

  *Success of the new Varilux^® S series progressive lens, especially in
    France.
  *Very challenging market conditions in the Southern countries.

Asia-Pacific-Africa

  *Continued strong growth in domestic markets in India and China.
  *Slowdown in exports reflecting high prior-year comparatives.
  *Decline in Japan following an exceptional first quarter in 2012.

Latin America

  *Solid performance in Brazil and Mexico.
  *Very difficult political and economic situation in Argentina.

Equipment

  *Consolidation of demand for surfacing machines.
  *One-off sales in first-quarter 2012.

^1 Acquisitions or local partnerships

Readers

  *Unfavorable weather conditions.
  *Postponement of certain contracts.

Significant first-quarter events and other transactions

Partnerships and acquisitions

During the first quarter, Essilor has pursued its bolt-on acquisition
strategy, aimed at extending local coverage and bringing innovations to market
more quickly, with seven new transactions representing €61million in combined
full-year revenue.

In Turkey, Essilor signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Isbir
Optik, the country’s leading distributor with revenue of €15million. The
transaction has been approved by the Turkish competition authorities and sales
should be consolidated during the second quarter.

In Russia, the Company acquired a majority share in MOC-BBGR, a joint venture
that owns Marketing Optical Company, the long-standing distributor of BBGR
lenses in the Russian market with €4million in revenue.

In Israel, Essilor acquired the production and sales assets of Optiplas, its
long-standing distributor, which generates revenue of €5million.

In Morocco, Essilor completed the acquisition of Movisia, a distributor of
Nikon^® and Kodak^® brand lenses with revenue of around €1million.

In Chile, the Company completed its acquisition of a majority interest in
Megalux, the country’s leading distributor with revenue of €7million.

In Colombia, Essilor signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Servi
Optica, the leading local distributor, which generates revenue of €29million.
The transaction is expected to be finalized in the near future.

Essilor launched operations in Nepal by acquiring a majority share in Nemkul,
a distributor with revenue of approximately €500,000.

In the second quarter, the Company acquired a minority stake in Advanced
Optical Supplies, a prescription laboratory in the state of Victoria,
Australia, which generates approximately €800,000 in revenue.

Transitions Optical Inc.

In January, Essilor announced that it was in discussions with PPG Industries
concerning the future of their joint venture, Transitions Optical, Inc., which
is 49%-owned by Essilor.

Cash position

During the first quarter, the Company undertook share buybacks to offset
dilution from share-based payment plans. These buybacks amounted to
€22.5million and totaled 309,097 shares. Combined with normal seasonal
fluctuations in the business, the buyback program led to a moderate increase
in net debt, which stood at €322 million at March 31, 2013.

Outlook

Essilor confirms its objectives of a more than 7% increase in revenue
(like-for-like growth plus bolt-on acquisitions) and a sustained high level of
profitability.

A conference call in French will be held today at 9:00 a.m. CEST

The number to dial is +33 (0)1 70 99 42 86

The call will be available for later listening at:
http://hosting.3sens.com/Essilor/20130425-13831C03/fr/

Another conference call in English will follow at 10:00 a.m. CEST

The number to dial is +44(0)20 3140 8286

The call will be available for later listening at:
http://hosting.3sens.com/Essilor/20130425-13831C03/en/

Forthcoming events

The Annual General Meeting of shareholders will be held in Paris on May 16,
2013.

The Company’s 2013 first-half results will be released on August 29, 2013.


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 more than €150 million to research and innovation 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 professionals.

Essilor reported consolidated revenue of nearly €5 billion in 2012 and employs
around 50,700 people in some 100 countries. It operates 22 plants, more than
400 prescription laboratories and edging facilities, as well as several
research and development centers around the world.

For more information, please visit www.essilor.com.

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.

Appendix

Essilor International’s consolidated revenue (€ millions)

                                     
                               2013   2012
First Quarter                         
Lenses and Optical Instruments  1,149  1,139
  *North America               453    450
  *Europe                      400    406
  *Asia-Pacific & Africa       217    206
  *Latin America               79     77
Equipment                       42     46
Readers                         85     85
TOTAL First Quarter             1,276  1,270
Second Quarter                        
Lenses and Optical Instruments        1,110
  *North America                     436
  *Europe                            392
  *Asia-Pacific & Africa             203
  *Latin America                     79
Equipment                             50
Readers                               101
TOTAL Second Quarter                  1,261
Third Quarter                         
Lenses and Optical Instruments        1,105
  *North America                     439
  *Europe                            371
  *Asia-Pacific & Africa             211
  *Latin America                     84
Equipment                             48
Readers                               76
TOTAL Third Quarter                   1,229
Fourth Quarter                        
Lenses and Optical Instruments        1,091
  *North America                     410
  *Europe                            390
  *Asia-Pacific & Africa             210
  *Latin America                     81
Equipment                             56
Readers                               83
TOTAL Fourth Quarter                  1,230

Note that since fourth-quarter 2012, Mexico has been included in the Latin
America region. As a result, the 2012 revenues presented above for North
America and Latin America have been restated accordingly.

Contact:

Essilor International
Investor Relations and Financial Communication
Véronique Gillet – Sébastien Leroy – Ariel Bauer, +33 1 49 77 42 16
or
Corporate Communication and Press
Maïlis Thiercelin, +33 1 49 77 45 02