New Look Vision Group Inc., a leader in the Canadian retail optical industry with stores across Canada and in Florida, reported financial results today for the 13 and 52 week periods ended December 26, 2020 (“Q4 2020”), and provided updates on actions in response to COVID-19, store re-openings, on omnichannel and facility consolidation. This press release should be read in conjunction with the Company’s management discussion and analysis and consolidated financial statements for fiscal 2020, which are available on the Company’s website at www.newlookvision.ca/investors and under the Company’s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
The Company has adopted IFRS 16 Leases effective Q1 2020 and has applied it on a modified retrospective approach; the operating results of previous fiscal periods have not been restated. Occupancy costs previously recorded as operating expenses are now recorded through depreciation of right-of-use assets and interest expenses on lease liabilities.
Q4 2020 highlights, excluding the impact of IFRS 16, where applicable are:
Full year 2020 highlights, excluding the impact of IFRS 16, where applicable are:
President & CEO’s comments
Antoine Amiel, the President and CEO of New Look Vision, stated that: “New Look Vision showed remarkable resilience this past quarter and year to overcome unprecedented challenges driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing market headwinds. Despite closures and disruptions in the first half of 2020, New Look Vision continued to execute on its strategy and delivered strong results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020. Quarterly revenues and comparable store sales grew by 25.0% and 12.0% year-over-year and EBITDA increased by 60% over the same quarter last year. I am grateful for the strength and dedication of our teams to deliver on our strategy and continue to serve the needs of our loyal and new customers in a challenging environment.”
COVID-19 and Store re-opening
Gradual store reopenings started on May 4th in line with local and professional regulations, with all of New Look Vision’s entire store network open for business by the end of the second quarter. In advance of reopening its stores, the Company issued stringent health and safety procedures, undertook extensive training in the form of in-store rehearsals and is providing each location with prescribed personal protection equipment.
COVID-19 has significantly altered the way optical retailers operate on both brick and mortar and eCommerce levels. As consumers increasingly move online, New Look Vision’s investments in omnichannel experience and anticipation of the evolving consumer journey complements and enhances its physical retail presence. This approach increases accessibility to differentiated, customized and precise eyecare, while ensuring safety for consumers across Canada. Our central lens processing facility pivoted to begin producing safety eyewear for use in health care facilities.
Status of Dividend
Effective March 19, 2020, the Company’s Board of Directors suspended the regular quarterly dividend and the corresponding dividend reinvestment plan until further notice, due to the pending impact of the pandemic on the Company’s business and liquidity.
The decision to declare a dividend is made quarterly when the financial statements for a quarter or a financial year are made available to the Board of Directors. Although there is no guarantee that a dividend will be declared in the future, New Look Vision and its predecessor, Benvest New Look Income Fund, have regularly paid a dividend or distribution since 2005 through 2019.
As at February 27, 2021, New Look Vision had 15,660,199 Class A common shares issued and outstanding.
Arrangement Agreement to be Acquired
On March 18, 2021, the Company announced that it had entered into an arrangement agreement to be acquired by NL1 AcquireCo Inc., an entity created by a group composed of funds managed by FFL Partners, LLC, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec , and the Dr. H. Doug Barnes Family. A copy of the press release announcing the aforementioned transaction is available on the Company’s website and a copy of the arrangement agreement has been filed by the Company under its profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
a) EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA attributed to shareholders, adjusted net earnings, adjusted net earnings attributed to shareholders, free cash flow and adjusted cash flows related to operating activities are not recognized measures under IFRS and may not be comparable to similar measures used by other entities.
About New Look Vision Group Inc. New Look Vision is a leader in the eye care industry in Canada with a network of 407 stores, as at March 25, 2021, operating mainly under the New Look Eyewear, Vogue Optical, Greiche & Scaff, Iris, Edward Beiner banners (in the US) and The Vision Clinic in addition to, laboratory facility using state-of-the-art technologies. Tax information regarding payments to shareholders is available at www.newlookvision.ca in the Investors section.
All statements other than statements of historical fact contained in this press release are forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding the future financial position, business strategy, projected costs and plans and objectives of, or involving New Look Vision. Readers can identify many of these statements by looking for words such as “believe”, “expects”, “will”, “intends”, “projects”, “anticipates”, “estimates”, “plans”, “may”, “would” or similar words or the negative thereof. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Although management of New Look Vision believes that the plans, intentions or expectations represented in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, there can be no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Some of the factors which could affect future results and could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements contained herein include: pending and proposed legislative or regulatory developments, competition from established competitors and new market entrants, technological change, interest rate fluctuations, general economic conditions, acceptance and demand for new products and services, and fluctuations in operating results, as well as other risks included in New Look Vision’s current Annual Information Form (AIF) which can be found at www.sedar.com. The forward-looking statements included in this press release are made as of the date hereof, and New Look Vision undertakes no obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect new information, subsequent events or otherwise, except as provided by law.
For additional information please see our website at www.newlookvision.ca. For enquiries, please contact Lise Melanson (514) 877-4119.