Fielmann Group closes US acquisition of SVS Vision, upgrades FY2023 prognosis

German optical retailer expects strong growth of +13% over last year for FY2023

  • SVS Vision acquisition closed on 31 August 2023, joins Fielmann Group on 1 September
  • US acquisitions constitute first step in long-term plan to empower US eyewear customers
  • Fielmann Group upgrades FY2023 external sales prognosis to 2.3 billion (+13% over last year), EBITDA expected to reach 400 million (+18%), EBT 190 million (+18%)

HAMBURG, GERMANY, AND DETROIT, MICHIGAN, USA – 1 September 2023 The Fielmann Group, a leading European eyewear provider, has closed the acquisition of SVS Vision yesterday. The complementary acquisition of online retailer Befitting had already closed in June. These acquisitions constitute an important milestone in the internationalisation that the German family business pursues with its Vision 2025 growth strategy. SVS Vision is consolidated as part of the Fielmann Group from 1 September 2023 onwards, amounting to the addition of four business months in 2023 but also carrying acquisition costs of several million euros. Therefore, the US business contribution to Group EBITDA will be negligible in 2023 but significantly improve in 2024.

Marc Fielmann, CEO of Fielmann Group: “Fielmann’s purpose is to help everyone hear and see the beauty in the world. With SVS Vision and Befitting we are thrilled to welcome 676 new colleagues who join our family business. Together we embark on a journey that will re-define what US consumers can expect of eyecare and eyewear.”

Lukas Ruecker, CEO of Fielmann USA, Inc.: “Over its 50 year history, the Fielmann Group has shaped the European eyewear market with its signature customer centricity. Now that we closed on SVS Vision, known for its friendly service, great people and longstanding heritage, we can integrate it with Befitting‘s exceptional digital platform and outstanding talent. Together, they will provide an empowering experience for US customers.”

Fielmann Group raises FY2023 outlook
In an environment shaped by high inflation and low consumer confidence levels, the Fielmann Group is developing favourably as customers opt for the price leader. Considering the strong performance in our existing European markets and the contribution of our new acquisitions in the United States of America, we upgrade our outlook for 2023: We expect external sales (incl. VAT and inventory changes) of about €2.3 billion. This corresponds to about +13% growth over last year (previously: “7 to 10% over last year”). Consolidated sales are expected to reach approximately €2.0 billion. EBITDA is planned to grow disproportionately, reaching a value of about €400 million (+18% over last year; previously “9 to 21% over last year”). Earnings before taxes (EBT) are expected to reach more than €190 million, corresponding to a growth of +18% as well.

Looking forward, we are optimistic that our Vision 2025 investments will continue to drive our topline growth while our Cost Leadership Program puts us on track to reach the margin levels communicated as part of our Vision 2025 strategic growth plan.

Hamburg, Germany – 1 September 2023

Fielmann Group AG
The Management Board

 

About the Fielmann Group: 
The Fielmann Group is a German family business that serves 28 million customers via its omnichannel platform consisting of digital sales channels and about 1,000 retail stores. Founded in 1972, it is led by Marc Fielmann, representing the second generation of the Fielmann Family who still owns the majority of the company’s stock. By making fashionable eyewear affordable and staying true to its customer-centric values, the Fielmann Group is consistently reaching customer satisfaction and retention rates of more than 90% and has to-date fitted more than 170 million pairs of individual prescription glasses. The family business employs about 23,000 people worldwide.

About SVS Vision:
SVS Vision is an optical retailer based in Mt. Clemens, MI, USA. The company is the market leader in the state of Michigan and operates a total of more than 80 stores across 9 US states. The business employs around 650 people and generated more than US$100 million in external sales in FY2022. SVS Vision also owns and operates its own optical laboratory as well as a vision insurance.

About Befitting:
Befitting (Eyevious Style, Inc.) is a technology provider and online optical retailer that makes eyewear shopping with vision insurance fun and easy. The company employs 26 specialists in Canada and the United States.

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