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Essilor's First-Half 2008 Results


- The buyback of 1.7 million Essilor shares for a total of

EUR64.5 million, increasing treasury stock from 1.3% to 2.0%.

Highlights since the end of the first half

Ongoing external growth strategy Since July 1, Essilor has acquired three new companies. In Germany, it acquired Nika GmbH, a lens wholesaler with around EUR9 million in revenue. In the United States, Essilor of America acquired a majority stake in Optimatrix, a prescription laboratory based in Alabama with revenue of $4.6 million. In India, Essilor acquired the assets of Sankar & Co's ophthalmic division, comprising five formerly franchised laboratories, which together generate EUR0.9 million in revenue.

Launch of a specific program to buy back 3.3% of outstanding shares

In July, Essilor decided to introduce a share buyback program to offset the dilutive impact of OCEANE bonds due in 2010 in the event that the remaining bonds are converted into new or existing shares.

The program consists of purchasing 6.9 million shares, or 3.3% of the capital. Financed by cash and routine borrowings, this investment will increase the Company's gearing.

Launched in July 2008, the buyback will continue through the end of the year and, if necessary, may extend into 2009.

In addition to this specific program, Essilor will continue to buy back shares to reduce the dilutive impact of stock option and performance share grants.


In the second half, Essilor will pursue its strategy of deploying valued-added products, developing in the international marketplace and expanding through acquisitions. Full year performance is expected once again to confirm Essilor's ability to drive steady growth in both revenue and margins.


A meeting with analysts will be held today at 10:00 a.m.

The meeting will be webcast live and recorded for later viewing at the following address:

SOURCE Essilor
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