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Essilor : 2008 Results

    CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France, March 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --

    - 2008: Solid Sales and Earnings

    - Revenue Up 9.7% Excluding the Currency Effect

    - Contribution Margin at 17.9%

    - Attributable Profit of EUR382.4 Million (up 8.7% Excluding the Currency

    - Recommended Increase in Dividend: +6.5% to EUR0.66 per Share

The Board of Directors of Essilor International, the world leader in ophthalmic optical products, today announced its audited financial results for the year ended December 31, 2008.

    EUR millions                  2008      2007    % change  % change

    Revenue                    3,074.4   2,908.1      +5.7%     +9.7%
    Contribution from
    operations(1)                551.2     527.4      +4.5%     +8.7%
    As a % of revenue             17.9%     18.1%      ---       ---
    Operating profit             514.5     504.6      +2.0%     +6.3%
    Profit attributable to
    equity holders               382.4     366.7      +4.3%     +8.7%
    As a % of revenue             12.4%     12.6%      ---       ---
    Earnings per share (in EUR)   1.85      1.78      +3.7%     +8.4%

(1) Operating profit before compensation costs of share-based payments, restructuring costs, other income and expense, and goodwill impairment.

In an ophthalmic optics market that experienced slower growth, especially in the fourth quarter, Essilor demonstrated the solidity of its business model. With growth of 9.7% in 2008 (excluding the currency effect), the Company increased its market share while maintaining its margins and capacity for future investment.

(a) 2006 figures have been adjusted for the option of recognizing actuarial gains and losses on pensions and other post-retirement benefits directly in equity.



           EUR thousands          December    December    December
                                     31,         31,      31, 2006
                                    2008        2007        (a)

    Goodwill                         957,605     591,147     474,771
    Other intangible assets          205,249     121,636     118,166
    Property, plant and              811,484     740,601     671,257

    ASSETS, NET                    1,974,338   1,453,384   1,264,194

    Investments in associates        164,690     157,496     155,596
    Other long-term financial
    investments                       44,214      39,174      34,657
    Deferred tax assets               51,955      37,645      41,577
    Non-current receivables            8,093      14,314       9,338
    Other non-current assets             693       1,024         840

    OTHER NON-CURRENT ASSETS, NET    269,645     249,653     242,008

    TOTAL NON-CURRENT ASSETS, NET  2,243,983   1,703,037   1,506,202

    Inventories                      475,299     393,597     371,133
    Prepayments to suppliers           9,521       9,849       7,698
    Current trade receivables        684,797     605,356     551,013
    Current income tax assets          5,859      12,072       7,929
    Other receivables                 37,294      10,423       6,558
    Derivative financial              50,996      32,777       3,174
    Prepaid expenses                  21,242      19,307      16,174
    Short-term investments            32,538      31,179      75,147
    Cash and cash equivalents        505,571     696,002     584,889

    CURRENT ASSETS, NET            1,823,117   1,810,562   1,623,715

    TOTAL ASSETS                   4,067,100   3,513,599   3,129,917

(a) 2006 figures have been adjusted for the option of recognizing actuarial gains and losses on pensions and other post-retirement benefits directly in equity.

                             EQUITY AND LIABILITIES

           EUR thousands            December    December    December
                                       31,         31,      31, 2006
                                      2008        2007

    Share capital                   37,984      38,030        36,347
    Additional paid-in capital     311,765     329,880       236,858
    Retained earnings            1,829,870   1,565,991     1,332,544
    Treasury stock                (153,407)   (101,910)      (71,502)
    Convertible bond (OCEANE)       22,206      23,408        35,489
    call option
    Revalution and hedging          (9,109)     (4,717)      (13,357)
    Translation reserve            (70,235)    (61,247)       (4,399)
    Net profit attributable to
    equity holders of
    Essilor International          382,356     366,740       328,733

    INTERNATIONAL                2,351,430   2,156,175     1,880,713

    Minority interests              14,544      12,090        11,032

    TOTAL EQUITY                 2,365,974   2,168,265     1,891,745

    Provisions for pensions and
    other post-employment
    benefits                       132,401     106,890       116,245
    Long-term borrowings           437,617     435,583       262,997
    Deferred tax liabilities        22,406       2,042         1,267
    Long-term payables               2,359       1,750           198

    NON-CURRENT LIABILITIES        594,783     546,265       380,707

    Provisions                      36,720      24,552        23,350
    Short-term borrowings          212,835      31,990       187,011
    Customer prepayments             8,611       4,363         3,183
    Short-term payables            631,945     598,434       554,693
    Current income tax liability    35,626      31,349        29,086
    Other liabilities              143,159      94,243        50,591
    Derivative financial
    instruments                     28,480       5,457         2,221
    Deferred income                  8,967       8,681         7,330

    CURRENT LIABILITIES          1,106,343     799,069       857,465

    TOTAL EQUITY AND LIABILITES  4,067,100   3,513,599     3,129,917

(a) 2006 figures have been adjusted for the option of recognizing actuarial gains and losses on pensions and other post-retirement benefits directly in equity.


                   EUR thousands                   2008      2007    2006 (a)

    NET PROFIT                                   388,811   370,870   331,605

    Share of profits of associates, net of
    dividends received                            20,637    14,667    (6,416)
    Depreciation, amortization and other
    non-cash items                               148,886   139,306   132,509

    Profit before non-cash items and share of
    profits of associates, net of dividends
    received                                     558,334   524,843   457,698
    Provision charges (reversals)                  9,810     5,127     4,328
    (Gains) and losses on asset disposals, net       629   (1,557)       312
    Cash flow after income tax expense and
    finance costs, net                           568,773   528,413   462,338
    Finance costs, net                              (692)    3,008    10,134
    Income tax expense (current and deferred
    taxes)                                       149,266   155,949   137,534
    Cash flow before income tax expense and
    finance costs, net                           717,347   687,370   610,006
    Income taxes paid                           (144,650) (157,034) (127,553)
    Interest (paid) and received, net              8,607     6,364    (4,543)
    Change in working capital                    (84,503)  (44,796)  (26,849)
    NET CASH FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES           496,801   491,904   451,061
    Purchases of property, plant and equipment  (184,298) (227,701) (204,745)
    Acquisitions of subsidiaries, net of the    (452,879) (136,435)  (44,024)
    cash acquired
    Purchases of available-for-sale financial
    assets                                        (4,673)   (2,375)   (2,135)
    Purchases of other long-term financial
    investments                                  (11,978)   (5,488)   (4,829)
    Proceeds from the sale of subsidiaries, net
    of cash sold                                       0         0      (116)
    Proceeds from the sale of other non-current
    assets                                         3,799     6,937    14,080
    NET CASH USED IN INVESTING ACTIVITIES       (650,029) (365,062) (241,769)
    Proceeds from issue of share capital          31,385    40,200    33,312
    (Purchases) and sales of treasury stock, net(112,613)  (49,415)    9,192
    Dividends paid to:
    - Equity holders of Essilor International   (128,393) (113,043)  (95,840)
    - Minority shareholders of subsidiaries         (188)     (239)     (381)
    Repayments of borrowings other than finance
    lease liabilities                            177,782    57,752  (138,426)
    Purchases of marketable securities (b)        (1,359)   43,968   (75,147)
    Repayments of finance lease liabilities       (2,644)   (2,769)   (2,175)
    Other movements                                  473     1,152     2,464
    NET CASH USED IN FINANCING ACTIVITES         (35,557)  (22,394) (267,001)

    EQUIVALENTS                                 (188,785)  104,448   (57,709)
    Cash and cash equivalents at January 1       677,164   569,873   631,100
    Effect of changes in exchange rates           (1 614)    2,843    (3,518)
    CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS AT DECEMBER 31     486,765   677,164   569,873
    Cash and cash equivalents                    505,571   696,002   584,889
    Short-term bank loans and overdrafts         (18,806)  (18,838)  (15,016)

(a) 2006 figures have been adjusted for the option of recognizing actuarial gains and losses on pensions and other post-retirement benefits directly in equity.

    (b) Money market funds not qualified as cash equivalents under IAS 7.

    Investor Relations and Financial Communications
    Veronique Gillet - Sebastien Leroy
    Phone: +33(0)1-49-77-42-16

    The year's highlights included:

    - Solid 4.9% growth in sales of corrective lenses, led by the
      effectiveness of Essilor's networks and the success of new products,
      notably the new generation of Transitions(R) VI variable-tint lenses
      and the new Crizal(R) anti-reflective lenses.

    - Pursuit of the external growth strategy with the acquisition
      of a minority or majority stake in 27 companies, including Satisloh,
      the world leader in optical manufacturing solutions for prescription
      laboratories (see "27 Acquisitions in 2008" below).

    - Continued strong profitability with contribution from
      operations at 17.9% of revenue (18.2% excluding the Satisloh
      acquisition) and attributable net profit at 12.4%.

    - Continued financial solidity. Despite a major investment
      program, gearing remained at less than 5%.

Annual Shareholders' Meeting

The Annual Shareholders' Meeting will be held on Friday, May 15, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. at Palais de la Bourse, Place de la Bourse, 75002 Paris.

The Board of Directors will ask shareholders to approve a dividend of EUR0.66 per share, an increase of 6.5% over the previous year. The dividend will be payable as from May 26, 2009.

Acquisitions in 2009

Pursuing its expansion in Asia-Pacific, Essilor has finalized four acquisitions in Australia representing EUR3.6 million in full-year revenue. Equity interests were acquired in three prescription laboratories-Prescription Glass Pty Ltd, Precision Optics Pty Ltd and Wallace Everett Lens Technology Pty Ltd-and a 50% stake was acquired in Sunix, a developer of optometric practice management systems.


In 2009, the global recession has made forecasting growth for the year very uncertain. However the economic crisis does not call into question Essilor's medium- and long-term objectives and the Company will pursue its development and the deployment of its strategic focus on innovation and international expansion. Earlier this year, the Company launched its new Crizal(R) Forte anti-reflective lens in Europe and the United States, the Transitions(R) VI variable-tint lens in Europe and its new Mr. Blue edger. Essilor will also continue to make targeted acquisitions, especially in prescription laboratories, which could account for around 6% of growth in 2009, including the full-year contribution of 2008 acquisitions. Lastly, the Company will continue to optimize its management practices in response to changes in the economic environment.


    A meeting with financial analysts will be held today, March 5,
    at 10:30 a.m. CET. It will be webcast live:

    In French at

    In English at


Next financial announcement: First-quarter revenue will be released on April 23, 2009.


Essilor International is the world leader in ophthalmic optical products, offering a wide range of lenses under the flagship Varilux(r), Crizal(r), Essilor(r) and Definity(r) brands to correct myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia and astigmatism. Essilor operates worldwide through 15 production sites, 292 lens finishing laboratories and local distribution networks.

The Essilor share trades on the Euronext Paris market and is included in the CAC 40 index.

Codes and symbols: (ISIN: FR 0000121667; Reuters: ESSI.PA; Bloomberg: EI:FP).


                         ANALYSIS OF THE YEAR'S RESULTS
                              CONSOLIDATED REVENUE

    Revenue growth in  Reported Like-for-like   Effect of   Currency effect
    2008                                       changes in
                                                scope of
    EUR millions        166.3       134.6         147.9         (116.2)
    In %                 +5.7 %      +4.6 %        +5.1 %         -4.0 %

    Consolidated revenue increased 5.7% to EUR3,074.4 million in 2008.

    - On a like-for-like basis, revenue grew by 4.6%. This figure
      reflects an increase of 4.9% in the lens business, led by higher unit
      sales, and a decline in instrument sales.

    - Consolidation of companies acquired in 2007 and 2008 contributed
      5.1% of reported growth.
    - The currency effect remained negative, at 4%, primarily due to
      the decline in the US dollar and, to a lesser extent, the British
      pound, the Canadian dollar and the South Korean won against the euro.

    - In the fourth quarter, Essilor consolidated Satisloh, which
      contributed EUR34 million to revenue. The world's leading supplier of
      prescription laboratory equipment, Satisloh manufactures and markets
      anti-reflective coating units and surfacing machines, as well as
      consumables. It also provides customer maintenance services.


    Revenue               2008       2007   % change     % change
    EUR millions                           (reported) (like-for-like)
    Europe             1,362.3    1,317.5    +3.4%         +2.4%
    North America      1,267.9    1,214.2    +4.4%         +5.0%
    Asia-Pacific         282.9      266.9    +6.0%         +8.6%
    Latin America        127.2      109.5   +16.1%        +17.6%
    Satisloh              34.0         -         -             -

Revenue by geographical segment: Europe 44.3%; North America 41.3%; Asia-Pacific and other 9.2%; Latin America 4.1%; Satisloh 1.1%.


Gross margin up 0.1 point excluding acquisitions

Gross margin (corresponding to revenue less cost of sales, expressed as a percentage of revenue) narrowed by 0.7 points to 56.9% during the year, as a result of the dilutive impact of acquisitions, in particular Satisloh. Excluding acquisitions, gross margin grew by a modest 0.1 point.

Operating expenses down 0.4 points

Operating expenses amounted to EUR1,198.2 million in 2008. As a percentage of revenue, they declined by 0.4 points during the year, to 39.0%. The decrease reflects: <start-table>

    - Stable selling and distribution costs (EUR672.3 million) and savings on
    overheads, at a time of sustained research and development spending
    (EUR144.5 million after deduction of a EUR10.5 million research tax
    - The positive impact of acquisitions whose operating expenses are lower
    than the rest of the Company's as a percentage of revenue.

    Contribution from operations(1) in euros and as a percentage of revenue

    EUR millions                  2008       2008 excl.     2007   % change
    Contribution from
    operations(1)                551.2        553.9        527.4   +4.5%
    As a % of revenue             17.9         18.2         18.1     ---

(1) Operating profit before compensation costs of share-based payments, restructuring costs, other income and expense, and goodwill impairment.

    Change in contribution  Reported Like-for-like  Changes in    Currency
    from operations(1) in                            scope of      effect
    2008                                           consolidation
    EUR millions              23.8       35.5          10.2        (22.0)
    In %                      +4.5%      +6.7%         +1.9%        -4.2%

(1) Operating profit before compensation costs of share-based payments, restructuring costs, other income and expense, and goodwill impairment.

In all, contribution from operations increased 4.5% to EUR551.2 million in 2008, while the contribution margin was a slight 0.2 points lower at 17.9% of revenue. Excluding Satisloh, contribution from operations increased by 5.0% and the contribution margin was 0.1 point higher at 18.2%.

Other income and expenses from operations

Other income and expenses from operations represented a net expense of EUR36.3 million for the year (an increase of EUR13.8 million), mainly comprised of:

    - Compensation costs on share-based payments (EUR24.9 million),
      reflecting stock option and performance share costs (EUR23.3 million)
      and costs related to the share price discounts on the Employee Stock
      Ownership Plan (EUR1.6 million).

    - Restructuring costs to rationalize production facilities, charges
      to provisions for contingencies, claims and litigation, and other
      expenses, for EUR11.7 million.

Operating profit

In 2008, operating profit (corresponding to contribution from operations plus or minus other income and expenses from operations and gains and losses on asset disposals) rose 2.0% during the year to EUR514.5 million (16.7% of revenue) from EUR504.6 million (17.3%) in 2007.

    Change in operating      Reported Like-for-like  Changes in     Currency
    profit in 2008                                    scope of       effect
    EUR millions               9.9        34.5           8.2         (32.8)
    In %                      +2.0%       +6.8%         +1.6%         -6.5%

Finance costs and other financial income and expenses: sharp improvement

Finance costs and other financial income and expenses represented a net expense of EUR2.5 million, versus EUR6.5 million in 2007. The improvement was led by a reduction in net finance costs due to a higher average cash position for the year (as the Satisloh acquisition price was settled in the fourth quarter).

Income tax expense: effective tax rate of 29.2%

Income tax expense of EUR149.3 million represented an effective tax rate of 29.2%, down from 31.3% in 2007. The improvement was led by a lower tax rate in the United States, and to a lesser extent in the Latin American countries, as well as by sharply higher earnings in regions where tax rates are below the Company average.

Share of profits of associates

The share of profits of associates Sperian Protection (15%-owned), Transitions (49%-owned) and Vision Web (44%-owned) was slightly lower, at EUR26.1 million. The decline resulted mainly from Sperian Protection's earnings and also from the negative impact of the dollar on Transitions' earnings, although the company had a good year.

Profit attributable to equity holders of the parent up 4.3% and earnings per share of EUR1.85

Consolidated net profit totaled EUR388.8 million for the year, an increase of 4.8%. Profit attributable to equity holders of the parent was 4.3% higher at EUR382.4 million and represented 12.4% of revenue (12.7% excluding Satisloh), virtually unchanged from 2007. Earnings per share grew 3.7% to EUR1.85.



Goodwill totaled EUR958 million at December 31, 2008, an increase of EUR367 million principally due to the Satisloh acquisition.

Inventories and working capital

Inventories amounted to EUR475 million at December 31, 2008, up 21% from a year-earlier as reported and 9.1% like-for-like.


    EUR millions                           2008       2007       2006
    Capital expenditure net of the
    proceeds from asset sales             182.9      224.4      191.9
    Depreciation                          143.6      137.4      133.1
    Gross financial investments           617.5      217.9       81.3
    Cash flow(1)                          490.9      486.1      449.4

(1) Cash provided by operations less change in working capital requirement and provisions.

Capital expenditure net of disposals totaled EUR182.9 million or 5.9% of consolidated revenue for the year. Around two-thirds of expenditure was committed to distribution operations and prescription lens laboratories, with series production accounting for the rest.

Financial investments net of disposals amounted to EUR617.5 million. Of this amount, acquisitions accounted for EUR505.0 million, while net buybacks of shares accounted for EUR112.5 million.

    Cash Flow Statement

    EUR millions
    Net cash from operations     557.5  Capital expenditure
                                        net of disposals(1)    182.9
    Proceeds from employee share        Change in WCR and
    issue                         31.4  provisions              66.6
    Currency effect, changes in         Dividends              128.5
    the scope of consolidation
    and conversions of OCEANE
    convertible bonds
    Change in net debt           371.9  Financial investments
                                        net of the proceeds
                                        from disposals(1)      617.5

(1) In all, the proceeds from disposals of property, plant and equipment and non-current financial assets totaled EUR3.8 million in 2008.

The Company's very good operating performance for the year enabled it simultaneously to continue investing in subsidiaries' production resources, significantly increase the size of its financial investments and recommend a further increase in the dividend, while maintaining its solid financial position. At December 31, 2008, net debt stood at EUR112.3 million and gearing amounted to 4.7%.

    Key Ratios

    - Return on equity (ROE)

    Return on equity (corresponding to the ratio of net profit to equity)
    stood at 16.4% in 2008, on a par with previous years.

    - Return on assets (ROA)

    Excluding Satisloh, return on assets (corresponding to the ratio of EBIT
    to non-current assets and working capital) amounted to 24.1%.


In 2008, Essilor maintained its sustained pace of external growth, carrying out 27 acquisitions during the year, mainly prescription laboratories. This strategy was deployed in all regions, with 15 acquisitions in North America, seven in Europe, three in Asia and one in Brazil, as well as Satisloh, the world leader in optical manufacturing solutions for prescription laboratories.


During the year, Essilor acquired all outstanding shares of Satisloh Holding AG. Created by the merger of Satis and Loh in 2004, Satisloh has a global distribution network and is the world's leading supplier of prescription laboratory equipment. It manufactures and markets anti-reflective coating units and surfacing machines, as well as consumables, to independent prescription laboratories, integrated lens manufacturers and optical chains. It reported revenue of EUR139 million in 2008 and has more than 400 employees. The acquisition strengthens Essilor's capabilities for developing innovative products, technologies and services for the entire ophthalmic lens industry.

                             As of December 31, 2008

                          CONSOLIDATED INCOME STATEMENT

       EUR thousands, except per           2008      
SOURCE Essilor
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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