Essilor International has been finally admitted to the CAC 40 index of the major companies listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange, with a market capitalization of more than €5.4 billion. The company had a record operating margin of 18 percent in the 1st half of 2004. Its sales reached €2.1 billion in 2003 and they are expected to grow by 5-6 percent a year in terms of continuing operations and by 9 percent after acquisitions. With 23,600 employees worldwide, the group has 18 factories and 173 prescription laboratories. Essilor had belonged to the prime index of the Paris Bourse already between 1988 and 1990. There was hope that it would be reintegrated last August, but Publicis, the French advertising agency, took its place instead.