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Essilor's 2007 Third-Quarter Report

CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France, October 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- - Financial Information for the First Nine Months of 2007

- Continued Strong Organic Growth, With Revenue Up 8.5% Like-for-Like

Essilor International, the world leader in ophthalmic optics, today announced its consolidated revenue for the nine months ended September 30, 2007.

Consolidated revenue for the first nine months

EUR millions 2007 (9 2006 (9 % change Like-for-like

months) months) change*

Consolidated revenue 2,200.1 2,022.6 8.8% 8.5%

Europe 987.0 895.3 10.2% 7.4%

North America 932.4 882.9 5.6% 8.3%

Asia-Pacific 200.9 175.9 14.2% 12.8%

Latin America 79.8 68.5 16.5% 15.3%

(*)Based on a comparable scope of consolidation and at constant exchange rates.

Consolidated revenue for the first nine months of 2007 totaled EUR2.2 billion, representing an increase of 8.8% on a reported basis and 8.5% like-for-like. Changes in scope of consolidation accounted for 3.8% of growth, corresponding mainly to acquisitions made since the beginning of the year and, to a lesser extent, to businesses acquired in 2006. The currency effect was a negative 3.6%.

Like-for-like growth matched the first-half 2007 rate of 8.5%, once again significantly exceeding the Company's trend rate. This performance was attributable to:

- Around 5% growth in lens sales volume in the first nine months, outperforming the market.

- The roughly 3.5% impact of favorable changes in the price mix.

Essilor is enjoying strong demand for new generation lenses offering new materials, optical designs or coatings. Sales of medium and high-index lenses and photochromic lenses are particularly robust. In all, value-added lenses now account for over half of the Company's total lens sales.

Consolidated revenue for the third quarter

EUR millions Q3 2007 Q3 2006 % change Like-for-like


Consolidated revenue 723.3 660.3 9.5% 8.6%

Europe 311.3 288.9 7.8% 5.0%

North America 310.0 286.9 8.0% 10.7%

Asia-Pacific 72.3 59.2 22.1% 13.5%

Latin America 29.7 25.3 17.6% 12.9%

(*)Based on a comparable scope of consolidation and at constant exchange rates.

Revenue rose 9.5% in the third quarter. Like-for-like growth was a high 8.6%, in line with the rates of 8.1% and 8.9% achieved in the first and second quarters respectively. The currency effect stabilized at a negative 3.6%, while the effect of changes in scope of consolidation was slightly greater, at 4.4%.

By region, growth accelerated in North America, led by the prescription laboratory network which enjoyed significant momentum. After two strong quarters, sales growth in Europe returned to a level in line with the trend rate, with good performances in Southern, Central and Eastern Europe. The Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions continued to advance, helped by double-digit growth in India, China, the ASEAN countries and Brazil.


During the third quarter, Essilor announced the acquisition of KBco, a US-based distributor positioned in the fast-growing polarized lens market. The Company also acquired SentralSlip, a Norwegian lens edging and mounting laboratory that is in line to become the local distributor for BBGR and for Nikon lenses.

In all, Essilor has acquired 11 companies since January 1, representing full-year revenue of EUR140 million for a total investment of EUR125 million.

Share buyback program

In late September and early October, Essilor bought back 400,000 Oceane convertible bonds due 2010, representing the equivalent of 800,000 shares. Representing 7% of the original 2003 issue, the 400,000 bonds were bought back at a total cost of EUR35.9 million. Following these transactions, there are currently 4,845,264 bonds outstanding, representing 80.2% of the original issue.

During the third quarter, the Company also bought back 500,000 Essilor shares for EUR22 million. These shares will be cancelled.

The buybacks are part of the policy implemented by the Company since 2003 to offset the dilution resulting from its stock option and performance share grant plans.

Cash position

During the third quarter, Essilor's net cash position increased by some EUR90 million. This increase, which was achieved despite the high level of financial investment and capital expenditure, was in line with the trend observed in prior years due to the normal seasonal fluctuations in business.

A conference call will be held today at 10:00 a.m. CET.

The number to dial is: +44-(0)161-601-8918

The conference will be available for later listening at:

2008 financial calendar

2007 revenue announcement: Thursday, January 24, 2008

2007 results announcement: Thursday, 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), Airwear(R), Essilor(R) and Definity(TM) brands to correct myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia and astigmatism. Essilor operates worldwide through 15 production sites, 244 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

Phone: +33-(0)-1-49-77-42-16

SOURCE Essilor
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