Benefiting from the strong market recovery, EssilorLuxottica witnessed an acceleration in sales in Q2 with optical growing faster than the sun category. Interestingly, the outperformance was led by the US-heavy retail business. Wholesale also witnessed a step-up, though it lagged due to its European exposure. Robust sales growth and strict cost management ensured a beat on profitability too. Given the sturdy results, the FY21 outlook has been raised. With GrandVision now in the bag and governanc
Companies: EssilorLuxottica SA
After two failed attempts, EssilorLuxottica has finally won the legal battle against GrandVision. While the French-Italian giant now has the option to pull the plug on the deal without paying any penalties, we believe it would instead go-ahead with the deal but at a lower price. Importantly, EssilorLuxottica now has an upper hand to renegotiate terms and, considering that GrandVision is no longer in a position to dictate the terms, it might agree a lower price.
2021 has got off to an encouraging start with the group capitalising on the rebound in the US and Chinese markets. Interestingly, strong momentum was visible in prescription lenses and optical retail and sun business was also back on track. Note that Q1 21 sales reported growth above Q1 19 levels and management is now confident to deliver a FY21 performance at least comparable to pre-pandemic levels. The integration process continued to gain momentum and full-year synergy targets were reiterated
Sales (at CER) were back in the black in Q4 20, driven by the resilience of the lenses segment and the acceleration in the retail segment, led by e-commerce. Management believes that the business environment will begin to normalise from Q2 21 and, combined with an innovative product pipeline, it has the ambition to deliver a performance comparable to pre-pandemic levels. Importantly, the governance structure is being overhauled and Del Vecchio is set to tighten his grip over the company.
The Q3 beat was driven by the ‘resilient’ lenses segment. Wholesale saw a significant improvement, led by the independent channel, and retail bounced back with optical banners and e-commerce leading the pack. Developed markets returned to positive growth while emerging markets remained a drag. A further acceleration was visible in October but, due to fresh lockdowns, the management remains prudently confident. With optical considered as an ‘essential’ category, the sales impact could be less sev
As expected, Q2 was worse than Q1 with sales plummeting 46.1%. However, revenue hit a trough in April, followed by a marked sequential recovery in May and June. Lenses saw almost flat sales in June, benefiting from pent-up in demand for prescription products and new product launches. Retail is approaching normalcy on the back of progressive improvements in traffic and higher conversion rates. Wholesale is a bit behind, though the progressive recovery of independents and key accounts should provi
Q1 was weak as the solid growth witnessed in January-February was offset by a material decline in March due to COVID-19. Despite the acceleration in online sales, Q2 should be worse. However, considering that c.70% of group sales are exposed to resilient optical prescription products, one could see a pent-up in demand when the situation normalises. Early signs from China have been encouraging and, if the recovery is solid, the board might consider a special dividend, though the FY19 dividend has
FY19 ended on a high with an acceleration in sales in Retail, Wholesale and Sunglasses and a steady show in Lenses in Q4. However, given the COVID-19 outbreak, momentum could lose pace in H1 20. Margins should also remain in check as the benefits of synergies would be reinvested into future growth opportunities. Unfortunately, a fraud at the Thailand plant has brought governance issues at the forefront once again. Nonetheless, a go-ahead for the GrandVision deal should come on time.
EssilorLuxottica witnessed a robust acceleration in sales in Q3 (+5.2% at CER), driven by new product launches in the lenses business, good dynamics in retail (both offline and online) and steady growth in fast-growing markets. However, the wholesale business lost pace due to softer demand in the Asia-Pacific region. Given 9M 19 sales of +4.3% and considering the ongoing launch of the next-gen Transitions lens in other countries, the FY19 sales growth target of +3.5-5% is comfortably within reac
EL is likely to outpace the eyewear/eyecare industry in the mid/long term, driven by a shift towards an integrated network business model and an increasing focus on innovation and digitalisation. Geographically, the fast-growing markets would be a key source of growth, benefiting from a growing middle class. Growth in profits would be higher than sales on the back of operational leverage, favourable product mix and synergies from the mega-merger.
Sales momentum accelerated in Q2 led by lenses, sunglasses and wholesale, though retail saw a deceleration. Given the new product launches, momentum is likely to accelerate further in H2 and thus the FY19 sales targets seem attainable. As anticipated, profitability slumped in H1, due to an increased marketing spend to support new product launches and, given the seasonality of the business, we foresee margin compression on a sequential basis. Note that the EssilorLuxottica integration process has
After putting lenses into frames, EL’s decision to augment the retail presence, particularly in Europe, looks like a strategic move. Given that EL and GV have limited business overlap, the antitrust approvals should be obtained in a timely fashion. Also, the integration process between the French and Italians is now in full swing and the amalgamation of GV should be smooth, given Luxottica has a history of incorporating retail networks. With so much on its plate, the appointment of a new CEO has
EssilorLuxottica is considering a takeover of Dutch eyewear retailer, GrandVision. Although the deal seems a good strategic fit, given GrandVision’s mass market business model and increasing focus on emerging markets, we have concerns with respect to the potential integration of the deal. Anti-trust authorities might also be a spoilsport once again.
A decent Q1 in which Luxottica witnessed acceleration in sales, driven by retail, while Essilor lost pace, due to unfavourable weather in the US. Given the new product launches, which are backed by effective marketing campaigns, Q2 has got off to a good start and we anticipate an acceleration in sales from hereon. Re-activation of the bolt-on acquisition strategy would provide a further push. With FY19 financial targets within reach and synergies now in execution mode, we eagerly await the upcom
As both the French and the Italian groups accused each other of trying to gain the upper hand at EssilorLuxottica’s leadership, the governance crisis has become uglier and the stock slumped c.6% on 21 March 2019 to hit a two-year low.
The pain aggravated when the executive chairman of EssilorLuxottica, Leonardo Del Vecchio (also the biggest shareholder of EssilorLuxottica and founder of Luxottica), accused its deputy, Hubert Sagnieres (vice chairman of the new entity and ex-CEO of Essilor) of a
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H1 EBITDA declined by 45% YoY, albeit this was slightly better than we had anticipated after the pre-close update in August. The beat was cost related (efficiencies/savings). There was a significant gross margin drag though and, while transitory in nature and diminishing in H2, this means further savings need to be realised to hit full year forecasts. This is our view and we retain a good level of confidence in next year’s forecasts. Having de-rated, valuation looks very undemanding now on just
Companies: Venture Life Group Plc
Venture Life has announced its interim results for the six months to June 2021. As previously announced in the August trading statement, revenues were down YoY due to lower HSG sales and sales to the Chinese partner, though revenues are expected to grow subsequently, benefiting from the two recent acquisitions. H1/21 gross margin was impacted by a number of factors including supply chain costs and stockholding costs; however, the company expect margins to improve in H2/21E. Despite the set-backs
Cambridge Cognition has announced strong interims which are consistent with our recently upgraded forecasts. Revenue increased 50% YoY, which outstripped growth in admin expenses leading the group to swing to a net profit. Demand for the company's software & services to support clinical trials continues to be strong, with a contracted order book of £15.2m at the end of H1 21 (+36% HOH; +105% YoY). Contract prepayments aided strong cash generation which led net cash to increase +37% versus FY20 Y
Companies: Cambridge Cognition Holdings Plc
Companies: SourceBio International Plc
Warpaint’s interim results for the six months ended 30th June demonstrate a highly encouraging rebound in sales and profitability as the markets have reopened post various degrees of Coronavirus lockdown. Strong strategic progress has been made, with the relationship with Tesco expanded and an 84-store trial with the UK’s leading cosmetics retailer Boots confirmed; this is very good news to us. Whilst ahead of our expectations for H1, we leave FY21 forecasts unchanged reflecting the very well do
Companies: Warpaint London PLC
Full year PBT is 4% ahead of our expectations and strong trading momentum has continued into FY22 (14.4% LFL). The strength of the results reflects favourably on the strategy new management put in place in 2019 to focus on optimal patient care and to make CVS an employer of choice. Having shown remarkable resilience through the pandemic, CVS is emerging as a stronger business with excellent ongoing growth prospects. Its integrated veterinary model is ideally positioned to capitalise on sector ta
Companies: CVS Group plc
Exactly one year ago, the FTSE 100 closed at 5,862, having fallen 100 points on the day, the lowest point since mid-May 2020, due in part, to the strength of sterling vs US$ at $1.34. One year on, the FTSE 100 has risen to 7,119, a rise of 21%, it remains 7% below the peak in January 2020. From an international viewpoint, US and European markets continue to trade at record highs. The US Federal Reserve is close to withdrawing some of its economic support this year as inflation picks up and the e
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Interim results to 30 June 2021 were in line with the trading update issued on 3 August, which resulted in upgrades to our forecasts and target price. On the back of a 50% (£1.5m) rise in revenues to £4.5m, adjusted EBITDA increased £0.5m to £0.2m, illustrating the operational leverage of 80% gross margin software & services. Period-end cash increased 38% (+£1.2m) in the period to£ 4.2m. Cambridge Cognition is well positioned to be a long-term beneficiary of the trend of running virtual decentra
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Eurowag confirms its intention to undertake an initial public offering on the Main Market (Premium). The Offer would be expected to comprise both (i) new Ordinary Shares to be issued by the Company, raising gross proceeds of approximately EUR200m to support Eurowag's growth strategy and (ii) existing Ordinary Shares to be sold by existing Eurowag shareholders. Eurowag is a leading pan-European
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Allergy Therapeutics reported FY 2021 results that were 95% (+£2.1m) ahead of adjusted pre-tax profit expectations, driven by lower than forecast overhead costs. This underpinned 20% growth in pre-R&D EBIT to £16.9m on 6% CER revenue growth. Year-end net cash was £36.9m, providing the company with the financial resources to complete both its Grass MATA MPL Phase III trial and complete the VLP Peanut Phase I trial. The readout of the exploratory Phase III (G309) Grass MATA MPL study in the autumn
Companies: Allergy Therapeutics plc
Deltex has reported 2021 interim results which reflect the challenges of the current healthcare environment with COVID cases causing disruption to the Company's core elective surgery market. That said, the Company has demonstrated it is able to keep costs low to match the current low activity, in anticipation of improving activity in 2022.
Companies: Deltex Medical Group plc
Synairgen reported FY 2020 results that showed an adjusted net loss of £13.7m, with year-end cash of £75.0m, some £27m higher than our expectations. The delta can largely be accounted for by delays in starting enrolment into the Phase III trial as well as the treatment of prepayments for drug substance and nebulisers: the latter reflected in working capital rather than expensed through the income statement. Near-term focus remains on the outcome of the Phase III study (SG018), and with the enrol
Companies: Synairgen plc
EKF has delivered another strong set of results, with the step change in the scale of the business firmly consolidated. H1 revenues increased 46.5% driven by an ongoing recovery in the core business and strong demand from a number of public and private sector customers for sample collection devices. The outlook remains positive and progress is being made against the new strategy set out earlier in the year. We upgrade our FY21 revenue forecasts by 7% and EBITDA by 13% noting this still implies a
Companies: EKF Diagnostics Holdings plc
Momentum is building in Circassia, with the recovery from the pandemic gaining traction and actions taken by management to focus the business having a material impact on the bottom line. Having already upgraded in July, we are upgrading forecasts again today to reflect the further progress on reducing fixed costs. We now expect the group to trade close to EBITDA breakeven this year and for significantly improved profitability and cash generation from next year onwards.
Companies: Circassia Group PLC
As we had already speculated at a recent target price change (on 05/02/2021), the announced departure of Dr Krick, Fresenius’ dinosaur, could trigger some changes. The first ‘victim’ may be the head of Kabi and we clearly expect more to come. In essence, this could signal to the capital markets that there is something already set in motion. This might change sentiment towards Fresenius as we still see the share is clearly undervalued.
Companies: Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA