Charenton-le-Pont, France, 3-4-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — Essilor today inaugurates a new production plant near Savannakhet in Laos. This facility is part of the Group’s strategy to leverage its industrial capability to meet the vision needs of people in every region of the world. The Laotian plant will contribute to the Group’s growth by accelerating its mid-tier offer to meet increasing demand from middle class consumers, especially in emerging markets.
This new facility will be dedicated to producing finished polycarbonate lenses for which consumer demand is increasing by 4-5% per year*. In its first production phase, the site will employ 250 people. It will produce 20 million lenses per year when at full capacity, enabling the Group to provide competitive polycarbonate products to major customers. Essilor operates more than 450 prescription laboratories and production plants across Europe, Asia, Middle East and the Americas.
“Our global industrial network is key to support the development of the Group. It connects our production plants with distribution centers and more than 450 prescription laboratories around the world to serve eye care professionals and consumers. Thanks to our new plant in Laos we will continue to strengthen our global offering of visual health solutions that help improve lives by improving sight“, commented Paul du Saillant, Chief Operating Officer.
Leveraging Essilor’s long-standing expertise in South East Asia
The Laos plant benefits from synergies with Essilor’s production facility in Bangkok, Thailand, an industrial reference for polycarbonate production since 2000, where teams from Laos have been trained. The facility, representing a 14 million US dollar initial investment, has been created on a 60,000m2 site in an economic zone which offers significant logistical advantages due to efficient road and air transportation.
The project embraces people development as much as industrial development. Essilor has established a vocational Training Center in Savannakhet which aims to help local workers develop skills appropriate to new industrial needs.
An ongoing commitment to socially responsible development
Essilor has a unique transversal approach to sustainability and social responsibility that places the company’s mission to improve lives by improving sight at the heart of its strategy and day-to-day operations.
Essilor has provided free eyeglasses to over 30,000 people in South-East Asia over the past 10 years thanks to its charity initiatives. In Laos, the company offered eyeglasses during a two-week field initiative led by the Vientiane Ophthalmology Center and Essilor has been extending its social impact in the Savannakhet area by offering eye screenings to the local community and to Essilor employees and their families.
By 2020, 5 billion people will need visual correction. Left uncorrected, visual impairment affects individuals, their families and communities and national economies alike. As the Vision Impact Institute highlights, the global cost of productivity lost because of vision impairment is 275 billion US dollars per year, almost half of which in the Western Pacific Region (including China).
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The world’s leading ophthalmic optics company, Essilor designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of lenses to improve and protect eyesight. Its corporate mission is to improve lives by improving sight. To support this mission, the Company allocates more than €150 million to research and
innovation every year, in a commitment to continuously bring new, more effective products to market. Essilor’s flagship brands are Varilux®, Crizal®, Transitions®, Definity®, Xperio®, Optifog™, Foster Grant®, Bolon® and Costa®. It also develops and markets equipment, instruments and services for eyecare professionals.
Essilor reported consolidated revenue of over €5 billion in 2013 and employs more than 55,000 people. It distributes its products in more than 100 countries with 28 plants, more than 450 prescription laboratories and edging facilities, as well as several research and development centers around the world.
For more information, please visit www.essilor.com.
The Essilor share trades on the NYSE Euronext Paris market and is included in the Euro Stoxx 50 and CAC 40 indices. Codes and symbols: ISIN: FR0000121667; Reuters: ESSI.PA; Bloomberg: EI:FP.