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Lenses fit naturally with frames

  • 17 Jan 17

Essilor and Delfin (Luxottica’s 62% shareholder, controlled by the Del Vecchio family) have signed a merger agreement worth c.€46bn. The deal involves the creation of a new entity named ‘EssilorLuxottica’ with a consolidated revenue and EBITDA of c.€15bn and c.€3.5bn, respectively. Management expects €400-600m revenue/cost synergies in the mid-term. As per the agreement, Delfin will get 0.461 shares of the new entity in exchange for one Luxottica share. Subsequently, Essilor will make a public exchange offer to acquire the remaining Luxottica shares at the same exchange ratio (Luxottica will be delisted post the completion of the deal). As a result, Delfin will become the largest shareholder of EssilorLuxottica (31-38% of the share capital and c.31% of the voting rights) and Leonardo Del Vecchio (chairman and CEO of Luxottica) will be appointed as the CEO and executive chairman of the merged entity. Hubert Sagnieres (chairman and CEO of Essilor) will become the executive vice-chairman and deputy CEO of the new group. The new board will comprise 16 members with eight members nominated by each of Essilor (includes Hubert Sagnieres, two employee representatives, one Valoptec representative and four independent members) and Delfin (includes Leonardo Del Vecchio, three Delfin representatives and four independent members). The transaction is expected to close in H2 FY17, subject to regulatory/shareholder approvals.

Temporary issues mire the short term; strong fundamentals intact

  • 25 Oct 16

Essilor released Q3 FY16 trading results in line with our estimates (total revenue: 6.4% vs AV estimate: 6.7%), primarily driven by the 4% scope impact vs AV’s estimate of 3.2%. However, organic growth slowed to 3.2% (vs AV’s estimate: 4.4%) due to lower than expected growth in the Lenses and Optical Instruments segment (2.9% vs AV’s estimate: 4.7%; accounts for c.89% of Q3 16 revenue). Within the segment, LatAm’s organic growth slowed to 4.5% (vs AV estimate: 11.5%; accounts for c.7% of Q3 16 revenue) due to macro-economic headwinds in Brazil (adverse impact on optical store traffic). APAC’s revenue growth also decelerated to 5.7% (vs AV’s estimate: 8.5%; accounts for c.16% of Q3 16 revenue) due to the consumer spending slowdown in the Middle East and Turkey. The sluggish performance continued in North America (1.3% vs AV’s estimate: 2.5%; accounts for c.39% of Q3 16 revenue), once again dampened by the decline in Transitions Optical sales to third-party casters and a slower than expected recovery in Coastal.com revenue. Moreover, the organic growth in Europe came in at 3.0% (vs AV’s estimate: 4.0%; accounts for c.27% of Q3 16 revenue) due to a poor performance in the UK and Central Europe. After dismal growth in H1 16, the Sunglasses and Readers segment clocked 6.9% organic growth (vs AV’s estimate: 2.0%; accounts for c.8% of Q3 16 revenue). The recovery was led by a good performance in North America (benefiting from favourable weather conditions compared to H1) and China (inventory management issue getting resolved). The Equipment division also witnessed robust growth (5.4% vs AV’s estimate: 2.0%; accounts for c.3% of Q3 16 revenue), leveraging on the increased demand for surfacing and coating machines by independent laboratories and optical chains in North America. The FX impact came in line with AV’s estimate (-0.9%). The company made 16 acquisitions/partnerships in the current fiscal year; aggregating c. €205m annualised revenue. Management now sounds cautious about achieving the 4.5% lfl target for FY16 but remains optimistic for 8.0% growth at CER.

Strong fundamentals intact; temporary impact from guidance cut

  • 05 Sep 16

Essilor posted H1 FY16 results below our estimates as well as market consensus. In Q2 16, the lfl revenue increased by +3.2% (vs Q2 15: +4.4%), primarily due to a slowdown in the Lenses & Optical segment (+4.4% vs Q2 15: +4.9%; accounts for c.87% of group revenue). The organic growth of the North America lenses business slumped to +1.5% (vs Q2 15: +3.7%; accounts for c.37% of the group’s revenue) on the back of a sluggish performance in the ‘Transitions Opticals’ business and lesser than expected synergies from ‘US alliance’ (Vision source and PERC). However, while Europe once again showed a sustained performance (+4.5% vs Q2 15: +5.0%; accounts for c.28% of the group’s revenue), the positive momentum continued in Asia-Pacific/Middle East/Africa (+8.5% vs Q2 15: +5.2%; accounts for c.16% of group revenue) and Latin America region (+11.4% vs Q2 15:+10.5%; accounts for c.6% of group revenue). The biggest let down was the Sunglasses and Readers segment (-5.8% lfl vs Q2 15: +3.2%; accounts for c. 10% of the group’s revenue), affected by unfavourable / wet weather conditions and a slower than expected recovery in China. The company’s reported revenue grew by 2.9% (vs Q2 15: +20.0%; our estimate: 7.3%) as the positive scope impact (+3.7% vs Q2 15: 2.2%) was offset by currency headwinds during the quarter (-4.0% vs Q2 15: 13.5%; particularly due to the weakening of the BRL, CNY and GBP). In H1 16, the reported revenue increased by 5.1% (vs H1 15: +22.6%; our estimate: 7.4%) while the operating margin remained stable at 18.0% (in line with our expectations). Furthermore, lower than expected tax expense (attributable to a reduction in dividend taxes as a major portion of 2015 dividend was paid in shares) underpinned the EPS by 6.4% (vs H1 15: 18.7%; our estimate: 12.0%). Essilor made 12 acquisitions/partnerships in the current fiscal year, aggregating c. €200m annualised revenue. Management has lowered the FY 2016 guidance of lfl growth by 50bp (vs previous guidance of 5%).