CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France, July 17 --

- Strong Growth in First-Half Revenue, up 9.4% - Operating Margin Holds Firm

Essilor International, the world leader in ophthalmic optics, today announced
consolidated revenue of an estimated EUR1,663.4 million for the six months ended
June 30, 2009, representing a reported 9.4% increase on first-half 2008.
Like-for-like, revenue was down a slight 0.7% for the period, but was up 5.3%
excluding the currency effect alone.

In a generally sluggish ophthalmic optics market, Essilor primarily relied on
new product launches to sustain its lens sales. Market share increased
worldwide, led by the Company’s extensive product portfolio, strong
distribution networks and targeted acquisitions dynamic.

In light of these factors, Essilor is confident in its ability to maintain
first-half 2009 operating margin on a par with full-year 2008.

Consolidated revenue for the first six months of 2009

EUR millions H1 2009 H1 2008 % Change % Change Contribution (reported*)
(like-for-like) from acquisitions Total 1,663.4 1,520.2 +9.4% -0.7% +6.0% Europe
665.1 693.5 -4.1% -4.4% +2.0% North America 718.1 617.9 +16.2% -0.9% +4.3%
Asia-Pacific 170.1 146.8 +15.9% +13.5% +1.3% Latin America 60.3 60.6 -0.5%
+9.4% +0.7% Laboratory 49.8** 1.4*** N/M N/M N/M equipment (1)

(*) Of which 4.1% due to the currency effect

(**) Excluding EUR14.8 million in Satisloh revenue from sales to Essilor

(***) Satisloh was not part of the Group in first-half 2008.

Improving performance in the second quarter: the like-for-like decrease in
first-half revenue included a decline of 1.0% in the first quarter and of
0.4%(2) in the second.

This reflected the following factors:

- A successful launch of value-added products around the world, including the
new Crizal Forte(R) anti-reflective lens, the Essilor Transitions(R) VI
variable-tint lens in Europe and the Xperio(TM) polarized lens in the United
States. - Firm growth in entry-level products, where Essilor holds strong
positions. - A disappointing first-quarter performance in instruments.

The strong 6% growth from changes in the scope of consolidation primarily
reflects a 3.2% increase from the consolidation of Satisloh and a 2.8%
contribution from companies acquired in second-half 2008 and first-half 2009.

The 4.1% positive currency effect was mainly due to the US dollar’s 15.4%
gain against the euro during the period. On the downside, reported revenue was
reduced by the declines against the euro in the British pound (down 12.4%), the
Brazilian real (down 10.9%) and the Korean won (down 15.1%).

Revenue by region and business

Growth in Europe was impacted by the highly unfavorable economy, especially in
the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Operations in Germany and France
demonstrated firmer resistance, thanks to their multi-network strategy. New
contract wins and successful business relationships helped to drive strong
growth in Russia, Finland, Austria and Switzerland. Instrument sales returned to
growth late in the first half, after falling sharply early in the year due to
delays in delivering the new Mr Blue(TM) edger.

In North America, business with optometrists and independent laboratories
remained robust in the United States, while operations in Canada have begun to

Operations in the Asia-Pacific region had a good first-half, with India and
South Korea reporting an excellent performance, followed by China and most of
the ASEAN countries. Growth was also strong in Australia, particularly in the
independent eyecare professionals segment. The only exception was in Japan,
where Nikon-Essilor nevertheless increased its share of a still depressed

In Latin America, growth slowed for the period, partly due to the comparison
with the 17.6% gain reported in first-half 2008. However, business in Brazil and
Latin America benefited from an improved product mix.

Laboratory equipment sales continued to suffer as prescription laboratories
pushed back purchases of antireflective coating units and surfacing machines.
Nevertheless, Satisloh’s ability to align its product offering with
current conditions enabled it to gain new market share over the period.

Highlights of the quarter - Acquisitions

During the second quarter, Essilor acquired three new prescription laboratories
in the United States, ABBA Optical, Barnett Ramel Optical and McLeod Optical,
which have aggregate revenue of $22 million. In Canada, Nikon-Essilor subsidiary
Nikon Optical Canada raised its stake in prescription laboratory TechCite from
50% to 100%.

In June, Essilor also completed the acquisition, subject to certain conditions
precedent, of WLC, a UK-based wholesaler-distributor with nearly EUR12 million
in revenue.

The Company announced five other acquisitions (De Ceunynck in Belgium, Amico in
the Middle East and Apex Optical, Vision Pointe Optical and OptiSource
International in the United States), which will be consolidated in the

Since the beginning of the year, Essilor has completed 14 acquisitions, which
will bring in around EUR64 million in full-year revenue.

Share buybacks

As part of the program set up to offset potential dilution from the conversion
of outstanding OCEANE bonds, Essilor purchased 459,280 of its own shares on the
open market during the second quarter. Since the beginning of the year, the
program has involved the purchase of 679,698 shares for a total of EUR20.2


Second quarter revenue

EUR millions Q2 2009* Q2 2008 % Change % Change Contribution
(reported)(like-for-like) from acquisitions Total 823.0 758.0 +8.6% -0.4% +5.5%
Europe 335.0 348.8 -3.9% -4.6% +2.1% North America 345.7 303.3 +14.0% +0.1%
+3.3% Asia-Pacific 84.4 72.8 +15.9% +13.3% +0.4% Latin America 32.5 32.3 +0.7%
+8.7% +1.2% Laboratory equipment** 25.4 0.8 N/M N/M N/M

(*) Of which 3.4% due to the currency effect - (**) Satisloh was not part of
the Group in second-quarter 2008.

Quarterly revenue data

EUR millions Q2 2009 Q2 2009 Q2 2008 Q1 2008 Total 823.0 840.4 758.0 762.2
Europe 335.0 330.0 348.8 344.7 North America 345.7 372.5 303.3 314.6
Asia-Pacific 84.4 85.7 72.8 74.0 Latin America 32.5 27.8 32.3 28.3 Laboratory
equipment* 25.4 24.4 0.8 0.6

(*) Satisloh was not part of the Group in first-half 2008.

A conference call in French will be held today at 9:00 a.m., CEST.

The number to dial is: +33-1-70-99-42-79

The conference will be available for later listening at:

A conference call in English will follow at 10:00 a.m. CEST.

The number to dial is: + 44-20-7138-0843

The conference will be available for later listening at:


Next financial announcement:

First-half earnings will be released on August 27, 2009.


Essilor International is the world leader in ophthalmic optical products,
offering a wide range of lenses under the flagship Varilux(R), Crizal(R),
Essilor(R) and Definity(R) brands to correct myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia and
astigmatism. Essilor operates worldwide through 15 production sites, 293 lens
finishing laboratories and local distribution networks.

The Essilor share trades on the NYSE Euronext Paris market and is included in
the CAC 40 index.

Codes and symbols: (ISIN: FR 0000121667; Reuters: ESSI.PA; Bloomberg: EF:FP).

(1) Application of IFRS 8 - Operating Segments has resulted in the creation of
the Laboratory Equipment business segment, which includes the machines,
consumables and replacement parts sold by Satisloh and Delamare to prescription
laboratories. The change has not had a material impact on revenue from the
operating regions, which consolidate all of the other sales (primarily of
ophthalmic lenses and optical instruments).

(2) Second-quarter revenue is analyzed in more detail in the appendix, page 3.

------------------------ Investor Relations and Financial Communications
Veronique Gillet - Sebastien Leroy Phone: +33(0)1-49-77-42-16 ---------------------------------

SOURCE: Essilor

Investor Relations and Financial Communications: Veronique Gillet - Sebastien
Leroy, Phone: +33(0)1-49-77-42-16