Essilor - 2010 First Quarter Report

By Essilor, PRNE
Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Solid First Quarter, With Revenue Up 7.8%

CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France, April 23, 2010 - Essilor International, the world leader in ophthalmic optics,
today announced that consolidated revenue for the three months ended March
31, 2010
rose by 7.8% to EUR905.8 million, in line with stated objectives.

Revenue was up 2.5% like-for-like, led by sharply higher sales
in emerging markets and a gradual upturn in business in mature markets.
Eyecare professionals responded favorably to the launch of new products like
the Varilux Physio(R) 2.0 lens, personalized lenses integrating Eyecode(TM)
technology in Europe and Crizal Forte lenses worldwide. Unit sales rose, led
by the implementation of the mid-range product strategy.

Changes in the scope of consolidation accounted for 5.1% of
reported growth, of which 2.9% for so-called "organic" acquisitions of
prescription laboratories and distributors and 2.2% for the acquisition of
FGX International.

The currency effect was almost neutral, at 0.2%. The decline
in the US dollar against the euro was offset by a rise in other currencies,
in particular the Brazilian real, the Canadian dollar and the Australian

Consolidated revenue

    EUR millions     Q1 2010 Q1 2009   % Change      % Change    Contribution
                                      (reported*) (like-for-like)    from

    TOTAL             905.8   840.3      +7.8%         +2.5%        +5.1%
    Optical lenses    863.9   815.9      +5.9%         +2.7%        +4.0%
    and instruments
              Europe  345.3   330.0      +4.6%         +0.7%        +3.2%
       North America  375.6   372.5      +0.9%         +2.1%        +2.6%
      Asia-Pacific &  103.1    85.6     +20.4%         +8.5%        +3.3%
       Latin America   39.9    27.8     +43.6%        +15.3%        +5.9%
    Laboratory         23.6    24.4      -3.4%         -3.4%           0%
    FGX                18.3       -         -             -            -

*Currency effect: +0.2%

Business by region

In Europe, business overall continues to improve each quarter,
although performance and trends vary from one country to another. Sales
increased in France thanks to a solid improvement in the lens business and
strong demand for instruments. Belgium saw a return to growth, as did Eastern
, led by Poland. Demand was stable in the United Kingdom, while
conditions remained difficult in certain Scandinavian countries, the
and Spain.

In North America, business was sustained by a sharp increase
in unit sales, especially in the United States where all distribution
networks contributed to growth.

In Asia, growth was very strong in emerging markets,
particularly India, the ASEAN countries and China. In Australia, sales to
independent eyecare professionals trended upwards, while in Japan demand
remained sluggish.

In Latin America, business improved in all countries. In
Brazil, sales of premium and mid-range products continued to rise.

Equipment sales to prescription lens laboratories started to
pick up during the quarter with order intake rising substantially, especially
in emerging markets.

Significant first-quarter events and other transactions


Essilor pursued its strategy of organic acquisitions, carrying
out seven new transactions.

- During the quarter, majority interests were acquired in ILT
Danyang in China, Ghanada Opticals in the United Arab Emirates and Eyebiz in
Australia. All of these transactions had been previously announced. Following
the successful launch in the United States of an online sales service for
eyecare professionals, Essilor of America announced the acquisition of a
majority stake in Frames for America, which operates the
website and generates annual revenue of approximately $10 million.

- Since April 1, three new transactions have been carried out:

    - In the United States, Essilor acquired Hawkins, a
      Kansas-based prescription laboratory with $4.5 million in revenue.

    - In Taiwan, a majority stake was acquired in SMJ, a
      prescription laboratory and distributor with EUR1.6 million in revenue,
      which will extend Essilor's local offering.

    - In the Equipment Division, the Company acquired a 60%
      interest in DAC Vision, one of the world's leading manufacturers of
      consumable supplies for surfacing, coating and mounting lenses. With
      operations in Europe and the United States, 65 employees and annual
      revenue of around EUR30 million, DAC Vision will continue to be led by
      its current management team. This partnership should enable Essilor to
      extend the product offerings delivered by the Satisloh and Delamare
      networks, for the benefit of customers.

Since the beginning of the year, Essilor has also made two
strategic acquisitions: FGX International, the North American leader in
non-prescription reading glasses with $259 million in 2009 revenue, and
California-based Signet Armorlite, one of the largest independent
manufacturers of ophthalmic lenses and the exclusive producer of Kodak-brand
lenses, with 2009 revenue of approximately $115 million.

Other transactions

Essilor also announced its support for Cinven Investment
Fund's tender offer for Sperian Protection, in which Essilor holds a 15.05%
stake. A long-time shareholder in Sperian Protection, Essilor has pledged to
support the company in this new phase of its development, alongside a
recognized financial partner.

Share buybacks - Cash position

Since January, Essilor has purchased 1.76 million of its own
shares on the market, for a total of about EUR79 million. These share
buybacks are intended to offset potential dilution from the conversion of
outstanding OCEANE bonds and from shares issued as part of employee
share-based payment plans. Due to the FGX acquisition, share buybacks and
seasonal fluctuations in business, net debt amounted to EUR360 million at
March 31, implying gearing of some 12%.

    A conference call in French will be held today at 10:00 a.m. CEST.
    The number to dial is: +33(0)1-70-99-42-98

    The conference will be available for later listening at:

    A conference call in English will follow at 11:00 a.m. CEST.
    The number to dial is: +44(0)20-7138-0825

    The conference will be available for later listening at:

    Forthcoming investor events
    The Annual Shareholders' Meeting will be held on May 11, 2010.
    First-half earnings will be released on August 27, 2010.

The world leader in ophthalmic optical products, Essilor International
researches, develops, manufactures and markets around the world a wide
range of corrective lenses to improve and protect eyesight. Its flagship
brands are Varilux(R), Crizal(R), Essilor(R), Definity(R) and Xperio(TM).

Based in France, the company reported consolidated revenue of more than
EUR3.2 billion in 2009, with nearly 35,000 employees and operations in 100

For more information, please visit

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

Codes and symbols: ISIN: FR FR0000121667; Reuters: ESSI.PA; Bloomberg:


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


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

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