EssilorLuxottica Withdraws 2020 Outlook and Stops Share Buyback Program, Citing Pandemic

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CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France—EssilorLuxottica (Reuters: ESLX.PA) announced that in light of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the company's outlook for 2020 published on March 6, 2020 is no longer valid. In a statement issued on March 27, EssilorLuxottica noted that in January and February, it delivered solid growth, in line with its full year targets. The company stated, “Business conditions began deteriorating in March as the virus shifted from impacting predominantly China to entire regions of Europe and North America.

"During the second quarter, the company expects revenue to further decelerate with a material impact on profitability. At present, the company has insufficient visibility to provide an assessment of the full scope of COVID-19 impact, as the situation remains volatile.

“As of March 27, Essilor has temporarily closed all its industrial sites in France. Production continuity is ensured thanks to the company’s worldwide network of interconnected plants and laboratories. This includes all production facilities in China, which are now back to full speed and have spare capacity. E-commerce activities are growing with no back orders.

“Luxottica's manufacturing plants have temporarily suspended their activity in Italy and other smaller locations, while they are back to normal levels in China. Stores in Europe and North America are complying with the temporary lockdown measures that local governments are putting in place, while the company’s e-commerce platforms continue to operate globally," the company stated.

EssilorLuxottica said the two operating companies are implementing a contingency plan including cost and cash control measures, putting on hold non-crucial investment initiatives and rightsizing global capacity to meet current demand levels.

In a related move, EssilorLuxottica announced that is is halting the implementation of its share buyback program announced on March 17, 2020. Since March 17, 2020, 1.55 million shares for an average price of €102.54 have been repurchased. In accordance with applicable law and regulation, all information relating to the shares repurchased from March 17, 2020 to March 26, 2020 under the share buyback program, is available on the company’s website at the following link