It is now official. The largest lens manufacturer in the world has formally appointed Bertrand Roy as the new manager for its European division. Most recently, this veteran of the group acted as international director of strategic marketing for two years, after leading Essilor France for six years. Endowed with a strong personality, he has been running ASNAV, a French industry association for the promotion of eye care. since May 2003.

Roy takes a place that has been occupied for many years by Bertand de Limé, who will go into retirement after taking charge most recently of Essilor’s expansion in Latin America. Roy will report to Hubert Sagnières, who has been supervising the European and North American regions.

Meanwhile Essilor announced a few days ago its acquisition of its Bulgarian distributor, Optymal Ood, in response to a growing market for ophthalmic frames, especially on the progressive lens segment. The new subsidiary, Essilor Bulgaria Eood, had revenues of about €1 million in its most recent financial year. Recently, Essilor had set up its own subsidiary in Romania.

Separately, Essilor Canada has acquired a majority stake in Westlab Optical, a prescription laboratory in Montreal. The Canadian lab had revenues of C$ 4 million in the financial year just ended. Additionally, following its acquisition of MGM in Puerto Rico in 2005, Essilor has now bought up another laboratory in that country, Rainbow Optical Labs, which makes annual sales of about $3 million. Essilor’s ownership stake varies from lab to lab, but is typically a controlling stake, and is often 100 percent.