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
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.
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.
Investor Relations and
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