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
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
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.
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®,
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 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.
Côte d’Ivoire, Laos, Sri Lanka, Togo and Tunisia