CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France, January 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- - A New Year of Growth in 2008 - Revenue Up 9.7% Excluding the Currency Effect - Higher Earnings Expected
Essilor International, the world leader in ophthalmic optics, today announced consolidated revenue of EUR3,074.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2008, representing a reported 5.7% increase on the previous year. Excluding the currency effect, growth for the year was a strong 9.7%.
After two years of robust growth, the ophthalmic optics market slowed in 2008, particularly in the final quarter. Nevertheless, Essilor gained new market share during the year by leveraging the quality of its product portfolio, the effectiveness of its networks and the more dynamic pace of its acquisitions strategy. This performance confirms, once again, the soundness of the Company's growth model.
In all, Essilor confirms that it will report higher earnings in 2008, with in particular an improvement in the contribution from operations(1) in value.
Despite the highly uncertain global economy, the Company expects to see a further increase in revenue at constant exchange rates in 2009. Acquisitions will play a dominant role in driving growth, as the strength of the Company's balance sheet enables it to seize a large number of opportunities.
Fourth quarter: faster acquisitions-led growth
In the fourth quarter, consolidated revenue rose by a reported 12.6% year-on-year (2.2% like-for-like) to an estimated EUR796.7 million. The consolidation of Satisloh and the targeted acquisitions made during the year accounted for a particularly high 8.7% of reported growth. The currency effect was positive for the first time since the beginning of the year, at 1.7%.
As the general economic environment steadily deteriorated during the
quarter, the Company's business slowed worldwide, partic
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