SCHIPHOL, The Netherlands—GrandVision NV
(EURONEXT: GVNV) reported preliminary results earlier this week showing revenue growth of 8.1 percent and 5.6 percent (at constant exchange) in the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2017, respectively. The company, which operates the 116-store For Eyes business in the U.S. market, said fiscal 2017’s results were buoyed by organic growth of 3.5 percent. In its announcement, GrandVision said its “first growth pillar,” comparable store growth, in fiscal 2017 reached 1.8 percent, and when adjusted for the effect of fewer selling days in 2017 the increase was 2.3 percent.
“The continued network expansion, GrandVision's second pillar of growth, reached its highest contribution ever in 2017 with a contribution to growth of 1.7 percent,” the announcement noted. “In total, more than 250 stores were added during 2017.”
GrandVision also indicated that its third growth pillar, acquisitions, added 2.1 percent to revenue growth in 2017, with such deals as Visilab in Switzerland and Tesco Opticians in the U.K. As a result of its acquisitions, GrandVision finished 2017 with a total store network of 7,001 locations.
In the fourth quarter, organic revenue growth totaled 1.6 percent despite “the slow comparable growth of -0.8 percent, caused, as previously announced in the 3Q-2017 trading update, by fewer selling days compared to the previous year,” the announcement noted. The difference in selling days related to the timing of the 2017 Christmas holidays.
In the Americas & Asia segment, organic growth exceeded 10 percent in Q4, GrandVision noted. “Both the continued network expansion as well as the comparable growth, which was in the low to mid-single digits, contributed positively to this growth,” according to the announcement. “The segment's underlying performance compensated for the effects of both the unfavorable selling days as well as the temporary downturn of tourism in Mexico in the aftermath of the September earthquake and hurricanes.”
In its G4 segment, GrandVision said revenue and organic growth were positive in the fourth quarter despite the -2.0 percent effect of fewer selling days, and the impact of the 2017 regulatory changes in France. “As reimbursements were no longer linked to the calendar year, customers no longer rushed to pick up their orders by year-end,” the company said. The U.K. business contributed positively through mid-single digit organic growth and the first-time consolidation of Tesco Opticians as of Dec. 4, 2017, GrandVision noted.
In the “other Europe segment,” revenue at constant exchange rates grew strongly in the fourth quarter, according to the announcement. Organic growth in Eastern Europe continued to be strong with high single digits in Q4, and Visilab in Switzerland as of October added approximately 20 percent to revenue. “However, the Q4-17 comparable growth in the segment was slightly negative against a high prior year comparable of 7.0 percent, as the performance, especially across Northern and Southern Europe was affected by the calendar effect in a number of countries,” according to GrandVision’s announcement.
GrandVision also noted that it is expecting “slower but still positive adjusted EBITDA growth in the fourth quarter despite the adverse calendar effect on revenue.”
GrandVision said full-year 2017 results will be issued Feb. 28. Overall, the company is the global leader in optical retail by number of stores (excluding sunglass specialty stores) with retail banners in 43 countries across Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia.