- In Europe, Essilor acquired all outstanding shares in Italy's Galileo
(EUR13 million in revenue) and Bulgaria's Optymal (EUR1 million), and
also acquired a majority stake in Netherlands-based O'Max (EUR3
- In the United States, Essilor of America added six
laboratories to its network: Interstate ($26 million in revenue),
Empire ($23 million) Advance ($6 million), Future TN, ($3 million),
Deschutes ($3 million) and Rainbow in Puerto Rico ($3 million).
Nikon-Essilor also acquired a minority holding in Encore Optics.
- In Canada, Essilor acquired a majority interest in Westlab
(C$4 million in revenue).
- In Asia, Essilor acquired Malaysia's Frame N Lenses (EUR2
million in revenue) and India's Rx 20/20 (EUR1 million).
In June, Essilor also announced the acquisition of Satisloh, the world's leading supplier of prescription laboratory equipment, with EUR161 million in 2007 revenue. The agreement is subject to certain conditions precedent.
Gross margin up 1.4% to EUR867 million
Gross margin (revenue less cost of goods sold, expressed as a percentage of revenue) stood at 57.0%, compared with 57.9% in first-half 2007. The decline was mainly due to the dilutive impact of acquisitions-particularly OOGP (contact lens distribution), KBco (polarized lens distribution) and ILT (ophthalmic lens distribution), all of which were acquired in 2007-whose margins are structurally lower than the rest of the Company.
Operating expenses up 0.5% to EUR590.7 million
Operating expenses were virtually stable in the first half and
accounted for 38.9% of consolidated revenue, versus 39.8% in the prior-year
period, when they amounted to EUR587.5 million.
Operating expenses comprised:
- R&D and engineering costs of EUR71.3 million (net of a
EUR5.4 million tax credit), representi
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