STRONG ORGANIC GROWTH AND INCREASED EARNINGS DURING H1 FOR SYNSAM GROUP

Synsam Group displayed continued organic growth, driven by a strong customer focus and a lifestyle-based assortment, a growing subscription business, initiatives in prescription sports eyewear, a focus on eye health and an expansion of the store network. Synsam Group has moved its positions forward, captured market shares in the Nordic region and delivered increased earnings.

Synsam in figures – H1 2019 compared with H1 2018:

· Net sales SEK 1,885 million (1,669)
· Organic growth 10.6 percent and LFL growth 7.6 percent for the first half of 2019
· Adjusted EBITDA SEK 492* million (327)
· Total number of stores 454, of which 412 directly owned stores
· Sales of Lifestyle subscriptions increased to SEK 659 million (321)
· The Group operates in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland and conducts online/omnichannel sales in each of these countries. Franchise operations are also conducted in Iceland and the Faeroe Islands.

*The implementation of IFRS 16 had a positive impact of SEK 126 million on EBITDA during the first half of the year.

“Synsam’s focused efforts to transform the optical retail industry continued to yield results. We advanced our position and captured market shares in the Nordic region, with organic growth of 10.6 percent, mainly driven by the outstanding work of our service-minded store personnel and our attractive lifestyle-based assortment in all of our sales channels. I am very proud of our performance and the contributions of all our employees. We have now developed into a very strong omnichannel player based on the needs of our customers,” says Håkan Lundstedt, President and CEO of the Synsam Group.

Synsam Lifestyle™ – Synsam’s subscription service for eyeglasses, sunglasses and prescription sports eyewear, has been highly successful since its launch in mid-2016 and delivered sales of SEK 659 million (321) in the first half of 2019.

Our lens subscription service is performing well, delivering strong growth since its launch in May 2018. As of 30 June 2019, the number of lens subscription customers amounted to approximately 30,000 in Sweden, Norway and Finland, double the number of customers reported in December 2018.

Eight new stores were established during the first half of the year. Synsam’s newly established stores are expected to become profitable and achieve their sales rate potential within two years. We also continued to focus on digital initiatives in our omnichannels. Synsam Sweden’s focus on eye health continued and the roll-out of our unique eye health centres is proceeding according to plan.

Synsam’s flagship store at Norrmalmstorg in Stockholm – Europe’s largest destination for eye fashion and eye health, which opened in March 2019 – performed very well. The full-scale, modern concept has been positively received by customers and achieved positive EBITDA already during its first quarter.

Our in-house fashion and lifestyle brands – D. Arnesen, Fellepini, Readers, Ai and Oscar Eide – and our design collaboration with Bernadotte & Kylberg continued to deliver successful results. Fellepini Sea2See, which are manufactured from ocean plastic, have proven to be a success and helped to clean 40,000 square metres of the Mediterranean Sea.

Synsam’s latest CSR initiative, “Everyone should see” (“Alla ska se”), was launched during the second quarter. The initiative aims to ensure that all children have the same opportunities to be active, regardless of vision problems. As part of this unique initiative, Synsam and its partners are handing out activity eyeglasses free of charge to all children with vision problems between the ages of five and 12. The initiative has received a highly positive response, and we are extremely proud to have helped more than 5,000 children by providing them with activity eyeglasses free of charge.

For more information, please contact:

Jenny Fridh, Chief Communications and Sustainability Officer:
+46 730 27 70 18, jenny.fridh@synsam.com

Per Hedblom, CFO:
+46 761 36 07 10, per.hedblom@synsam.com

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