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ESSILOR INTL. : Essilor Continues to Expand in the United States

01/31/2013 | 12:35am US/Eastern

Regulatory News:

Essilor (Paris:EI) is continuing to strengthen its positions in the United States, the world's leading market for ophthalmic lenses, with the acquisition of a lens manufacturer and a new prescription laboratory.

The Company has announced the acquisition of an 80% share in X-Cel Optical, a manufacturer of ophthalmic lenses based in Minnesota (US). Leveraging its widely recognized, high performance technical expertise, X-Cel Optical offers a wide range of niche products, the vast majority of which are bi- and tri-focal, stock and variable-tint lenses. The line-ups are produced in various materials, including Trivex?. With a refraction index of 1.53 and impact resistance comparable to that of polycarbonate, Trivex? is enjoying rapid sales growth.

X-Cel Optical produces just over two million lenses a year and generates full-year revenue of approximately $33 million.

The development of the X-Cel Optical product line, which fits very well with Essilor's, will be led by the Group's various distribution networks in the United States, comprising both proprietary and independent laboratories, and around the world. The X-Cel Optical offer may also be moved upmarket, using Essilor's leading-edge technologies, in particular the Crizal® range of surface coatings, as a lever.

In addition, the partnership will enable Essilor to optimize its sourcing strategy. Lastly, Essilor and X-Cel Optical may also share their engineering skills and capabilities to optimize their production processes.

Essilor is also continuing to deepen its local distribution network in the United States to capture the market's growth potential for value-added lenses. The Company has signed a partnership with Lenstech Optical, a prescription laboratory in Indiana that generates annual revenue of $6 million.

In the future, Essilor will activate the usual value-creation levers by providing Lenstech Optical with new technologies that will speed the distribution of its flagship brands, including Varilux® and Crizal®, in the partner's catchment area.

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 professionals.

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.

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© Business Wire 2013
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