In the fourth quarter, GrandVision posted revenues of €981 million, down by 1.8 percent at actual currency rates and up by 1.0 percent at constant currency rates. Comparable sales growth was 0.7 percent.

In its preliminary results, released on Jan. 22, the Dutch optical retailer had estimated comparable revenue growth at 0.8 percent. On a reported basis, the top line decline was initially estimated at 1.7 percent, while at constant currency rates, the increase was indicated at 1.1 percent.

System-wide sales, which includes GrandVision’s own stores and franchisees, fell by 1.1 percent to €1.079 billion in the fourth-quarter.

Group adjusted Ebita margin widened to 11.6 percent from 10.7 percent

In the core G4 segment, which comprises stores operating in France, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, the U.K. and Ireland, final quarterly sales totaled €570 million, up by 3.3 percent on a reported basis and up by 4.2 percent at constant foreign exchange rates. Comparable sales were also up by 4.2 percent.

The adjusted Ebita margin for the G4 region grew to 15.4 percent from 13.2 percent.

In the rest of Europe, revenues dropped by 4.2 percent to €311 million. On a currency neutral basis, the decline reached 3.5 percent. Comparable sales decreased by 4.1 percent. The adjusted Ebita margin increased to 12.6 percent from 11.6 percent.

In the Americas and Asia, fourth-quarter revenues stood at €100 million, down by 18.6 percent at actual currency rates and by 1.8 percent in local currencies. Comparable sales were down by 1.9 percent. The adjusted Ebita margin improved sharply to 9.0 percent from 3.2 percent.

GrandVision Income Statement - Full year 2020 - million euros
  2020 2019 % Change 
Revenue 3,481 4,039 -13.8
Cost of sales 988 1,110 -11.0
Gross profit 2,493 2,930 -14.9
SG&A 2,432 2,605 -6.6
Operating profit 60 324 -81.5
Net Financial result -50 -49 2.0
Pre-tax result 9 275 -96.7
Tax 54 79 -31.6
Net result -45 195 -

In the full year, GrandVision’s revenues fell by 13.8 percent to €3,481 million, with constant-currency sales down by 12.2 percent. Comparable revenues dropped by 14.1 percent. System-wide sales contracted by 13.4 percent to €3,818 million and the number of stores was cut to 7,260 at the end of 2020 from 7,406 a year earlier.

Total e-commerce sales grew by 85 percent, while online sales generated by the group’s retail brands more than doubled.

The adjusted Ebita margin retreated to 7.7 percent from 11.8 percent and the attributable net loss was €67 million compared with a €178 million profit.

In the G4 region, annual revenues fell by 10.5 percent to €2,028 million, with comparable sales falling by 11.6 percent. The adjusted Ebita margin shrank to 10.9 percent from 15.3 percent. The number of stores in the region rose slightly to 3,433 at the year end from 3,428 a year earlier.

In the rest of Europe, 2020 revenues dropped by 13.0 percent to €1,103 million, with comparable sales down by 15.9 percent. The adjusted Ebita margin slumped to 8.0 percent from 12.0 percent. The store network was trimmed to 2,114 units from 2,134.

In the Americas and Asia, annual revenues were down by 30.8 percent to €349 million, with comparable decline of 20.7 percent. The adjusted Ebitda margin was a negative 0.4 percent against a positive 4.3 percent in 2019. The number of stores was cut to 1,713 from 1,844.

GrandVision plans to pay a dividend of €0.35 per share on its 2019 results but is not yet proposing a dividend on its 2020 results to shareholders. The group is holding its annual general meeting on April 23.

The group declined to release a full-year guidance due to the near-term uncertainty caused by the pandemic, but expects the business environment to gradually improve towards the second part of the year.

GrandVision said that it continues to support its takeover by EssilorLuxottica. It also indicated that an Amsterdam appeals court held a hearing on Feb. 22 about a dispute it has with the Franco-Italian group. The court will release its decision on April 6.

GrandVision and EssilorLuxottica are engaged in a lawsuit after the Franco-Italian group asked the Dutch retailer to provide information on its handling of the pandemic and of allegedly breaching its obligations under the groups’ support agreement.