Message from the CEO

GrandVision presents its first Annual Report as a listed company. 2014 was an eventful and successful year for GrandVision. We are pleased with our 2014 financial results as well as the execution of our strategic priorities and the deployment of GrandVision’s global capabilities.

In 2014, GrandVision realized a revenue of €2.8 billion, an increase of 8.5% at constant exchange rates. Revenue growth was primarily the result of comparable growth of 4.3% (1.6% in 2013). Profitability showed an improvement of 12.2%, with adjusted EBITDA reaching €449 million. This improved performance was based on the ongoing execution of the key strategic priorities and the further development and deployment of global capabilities across the group. That work enabled GrandVision to achieve productivity and efficiency gains in areas such as store operations, commercial policies and supplier and category management. These in turn helped drive revenue up and cost ratios down, thereby further improving margin.

There were several noticeable strategic and operational achievements in 2014. We are pleased with the introduction and further roll-out of a simpler and more transparent customer journey across many stores of the group. This contributed to increased store traffic, improved conversion rates and higher customer satisfaction.

Progress was also made in the global implementation of the GrandVision exclusive brands portfolio. This portfolio offers our customers a full range of more affordable alternatives in all product categories at all technology levels without the need to compromise on quality.

Another achievement was the opening of two additional GrandVision TechCenters in Portugal and the United Kingdom. These large-scale industrialized production facilities provide benefits over the traditional final production and assembly of spectacles done in-store, in terms of quality, delivery speed and reliability, and also cost. At the same time our optical experts based in the stores can focus even more strongly on serving and advising our customers.

Another highlight of 2014 was the launch of the global GrandVision Academy. At GrandVision we strongly believe that the continuous training and development of staff is a crucial element to the success of our business and its sustainability.

In addition to these selected examples progress was also made on other strategic and operational initiatives: these include the development of a new group-wide ERP system; the development of an integrated omni-channel (“clicks & bricks”) retail model that improves the overall customer experience; as well as the continued international roll-out of the sunglass banner Solaris.

In 2014, GrandVision achieved its growth ambitions through the continued optimization and expansion of its existing store network. In addition, we expanded our existing presence through acquisitions in Colombia, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom and entered the optical retail markets in China, Peru and Turkey also through acquisitions. In 2014 the store network grew by 821 to 5,814 stores. In the Latin America & Asia segment our store network grew by over 50% to 1,175 stores.

The Initial Public Offering of GrandVision shares was prepared in the second half of 2014 and led to the listing on Euronext Amsterdam on 6 February 2015. Investors were attracted by GrandVision’s unique platform for future growth combined with high profitability and strong cash flow generation.

GrandVision welcomes its new shareholders and looks forward to continuing its international growth journey in the years to come. We also thank our founding shareholder HAL for their support in 2014 and their commitment to remain a significant long-term shareholder in the future.

Looking ahead, we see a successful future for GrandVision. With the growing need for eye care around the world, GrandVision is well positioned to benefit from the positive underlying socio-demographics. GrandVision will continue on its path of making high quality and affordable eye care available to more and more people around the world.

Last but certainly not least, I extend a big THANK YOU to all employees of GrandVision. Our professional and highly qualified optical experts serve with dedication and passion in every country, in every store. Every day they prove that in eye care, we care more.

Theo Kiesselbach, CEO