New Look Vision Reports Record Results for Q4 2019 and Provides Actions in Response to COVID-19

New Look Vision Group reported financial results for the 13 and 52 week periods ended December 28, 2019.

Q4 2019 Financial and Operational Highlights

• Revenues increased by 3.9% over last year to reach a record $73.9 million.

• Comparable store sales orders were up by 3.6% compared to the fourth quarter of last year, marking the 22nd consecutive quarter of comparable store sales growth.

• Adjusted EBITDA attributed to shareholders reached $14.3 million, an increase of 3.7% over last year and 3.4% on a per diluted share basis to $0.91. The increase is principally due to improved performance from existing stores and improved employee productivity that lead to lower remuneration expenses.

• Net earnings attributed to shareholders reached $5.0 million, compared to $3.1 million last year, the increase being attributable to higher EBITDA and lower financial expenses. Net earnings on a per diluted share basis were $0.32 compared to $0.20 last year, an increase of 60.0%.

2019 Financial and Operating Results

• Annual revenues increased by 2.3% to reach a record $297.9 million, resulting mainly from comparable store sales growth as well as from newly acquired stores, offset by revenue from scheduled store closures.

• Comparable store sales orders were up by 2.3% compared to last year.

• Adjusted EBITDA attributed to shareholders reached $55.9 million, an increase of $1.4 million or 2.5% over last year and increased 2.3% on a per diluted share basis to $3.57.

• Net earnings attributed to shareholders were $18.8 million, an increase of 32.1% over last year. This increase is driven by higher EBITDA, lower financial expenses and depreciation. Net earnings per diluted share increased 31.9% to $1.20.

• Adjusted net earnings attributed to shareholders(a) increased by 13.5% to $26.1 million or 13.6% on a per diluted share basis.

The increase is mainly attributable to a higher adjusted EBITDA.

• Cash flows related to operating activities reached $43.6 million, an increase of $8.8 million or 25.4% over last year and increased 25.1% on a per diluted share basis to $2.79.

• The Company invested $8.9 million in Bespoke Eyewear and the technical component that underpins the omnichannel strategy.

• The total debt was reduced by $9.8 million through voluntary and contractual repayments, improving the net debt to adjusted EBITDA attributed to shareholders ratio to 2.60, compared to 2.76 last year.

Actions in response to COVID-19

New Look Vision has initiated partial or full store closures across its network in response to COVID-19. Preventing the virus’ spread, protecting professionals, employees and clients while maintaining a minimum access to vision care and products are the key factors driving these decisions. The Company established an emergency pay program to supplement unemployment insurance for the employees placed on temporary leave.

In view of the current uncertainty driven by reduced store capacity and regulatory restrictions, the Board of Directors has elected to suspend the regular quarterly dividend and the corresponding dividend reinvestment plan for Q4 2019. The Company believes it is well positioned to withstand the current disruption given its efficient operations and strong balance sheet. New Look Vision continues to diligently control its cost structure while actively monitoring market conditions.

President & CEO’s comments

Antoine Amiel, the President and CEO of New Look Vision, stated that: “New Look Vision had a strong fourth quarter capping a strong FY2019. This was the 22nd consecutive quarter of same store sales growth. 2019 saw an increased pace of comparable store sales growth, increased profitability and store network expansion notably in the USA. Those results materialized into further deleveraging

of our balance sheet giving the Company a solid footing to withstand the COVID-19 disruption and uncertainty.

New Look Vision responded swiftly to the onset of COVID-19. We have reduced our store network capacity to participate in the collective effort to stem the pandemic’s spread and to protect our teams and customers, while keeping open a minimum access to vision care and products for those in need. We have implemented a supplemental pay program for our employees placed on temporary leave. We have downsized our cost structure and taken cash conservation measures. We are actively monitoring the situation and will adjust our stance proactively. While our stores and manufacturing activities are reduced, our development initiatives are on-going to continue building a competitive advantage.

Click HERE for the full press release.

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