from disposals(1) 216.8
Increase in net cash
(1) ) In all, the proceeds from disposals of property, plant and equipment and non-current financial assets totaled EUR6.9 million in 2007.
The Company's very good operating performance for the year enabled it simultaneously to maintain its capital expenditure capability, significantly increase the size of its financial investments and recommend a further increase in the dividend. In all, Essilor ended the year with a net cash position of EUR259.6 million.
- Return on equity (ROE)
Return on equity - corresponding to the ratio of net profit to equity - stood at 17% for the year, on a par with previous years.
- Return on assets (ROA)
After increasing sharply in 2006, return on assets - corresponding to the ratio of EBIT to non-current assets and working capital - eased to 26.9% in 2007.
Essilor stepped up the pace of its acquisitions-led growth strategy in 2007, acquiring 16 companies around the world and strengthening its positions in distribution and prescription laboratories, especially in the United States. These transactions added EUR160 million in full-year revenue, at a total cost of EUR151.3 million.
In the United States, Essilor subsidiary Essilor of America continued to extend its network of prescription lens laboratories:
- Beitler McKee Optical (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
- Personal Eyes (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
- Sutherlin Optical (Kansas City and Joplin, Missouri), which primarily serves customers in Missouri and Kansas
- Premier Optics and Gold Optical Enterprises (Belmont and Fayetteville, North Carolina).
- GK Optical (Greenwood and Fort Wayne, Indiana).
- Lastly, Es
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