Solid growth in unit sales worldwide - Demonstrated effectiveness of the multi-network strategy in Europe (up 2.4% like-for-like)
In a challenging market shaped by more aggressive competition, the Company's strategy of using multiple networks (Essilor, BBGR, Nikon and local distributors) enabled it to capitalize on the growing popularity of generics and increase market share by volume. Operations in Central and Eastern Europe turned in the best performance for the year.
- A good year in North America (up 5.0% like-for-like)
Essilor continued to successfully expand in the United States, in particular through its network of prescription laboratories, which enjoyed growing demand from independent eyecare professionals. Economic conditions weighed on business with some of the large optical chains. Growth in Canada was supported by effective development of the product mix.
- Growth in Asia was led by India, South Korea and the ASEAN countries (up 8.6% like-for-like)
An improved product mix drove fast growth in China and especially India during the year. Operations in South Korea and the ASEAN countries also reported a very strong performance. In Japan, Nikon-Essilor gained ground in a market that declined in value. After a difficult first-half, business in Australia turned sharply upwards in the second six months of the year.
- An improved product mix in Latin America (up 17.6% like-for-like)
Operations in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina experienced strong growth thanks to rising sales of anti-reflective coatings and of progressive lenses.
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