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EssilorLuxottica Hosted Its 2019 Capital Markets Day

It is a milestone moment for EssilorLuxottica, Luxoticca CEO says.

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(PRESS RELEASE) LONDON, UK– EssilorLuxottica, a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of ophthalmic lenses, frames and sunglasses, hosted its 2019 Capital Markets Day in London, presenting its strategic vision, integration progress and long-term financial guidelines.

“This is a milestone moment for EssilorLuxottica because we have successfully mapped out our go-forward strategy and initiated the first concrete moves of the integration. The teams are working well together, and we are fully energized about what the future holds, not just for us, but for the entire industry,” commented Francesco Milleri, deputy chairman – CEO of Luxottica Group.

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“We are very pleased to have shared the first steps towards the unification of EssilorLuxottica today including our strategic vision for the eyecare and eyewear industry, our latest innovation and an update on our integration progress. I am increasingly confident in our future each time. I see the dedication, talent and expertise of our strong teams around the world. Together, we will take great strides to bring better vision to the billions of people in need around the world,” added Laurent Vacherot, CEO of Essilor International.

Strategic Vision

In a presentation to investors, EssilorLuxottica shared its strategic vision for the future, where combining the strengths of Essilor and Luxottica will open up new avenues for growth and enable the Company to achieve its purpose, “see more, be more, and live life to its fullest”.

EssilorLuxottica’s plans to grow its business and the broader industry are rooted in the following pillars:

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  • An open business model where eyecare and eyewear products are accessible to everyone, everywhere. This will be made possible as the Company shifts to a global 2/3 network model made up of stores, prescription laboratories, logistics hubs, R&D centers and digital properties, all connected in real time and benefiting from advanced analytics and data
  • Accelerated Innovation that leverages both companies’ research and development; supply chain advancement by combining frames and lenses for the complete pair; revolutionizing the eye exam; developing smart eyewear and new categories
  • Reshaping the consumer journey from refraction exam, awareness and storytelling to access and convenience to digitally enabled stores
  • Embedding sustainability at EssilorLuxottica’s core: from responsible environmental practices to philanthropic initiatives to employee shareholding

Progress on the Integration

During the first nine months of the year, the Company put in place a structured process to drive integration and deliver synergies. The net impact on adjusted2 operating profit of those synergies is expected to be in the range of:

  • Euro 300 to Euro 350 million in the period 2019/2021
  • Euro 420 to Euro 600 million by 2022/2023

With the ultimate objective of building a unified company, EssilorLuxottica has launched more than 20 priority work streams and 160 business initiatives that are being implemented globally.

This activity is under the leadership of more than 40 key executives with the full commitment of dedicated teams involving more than 800 employees across the two organizations.

First steps include:

  • The creation of one single supply chain and prescription laboratories network
  • The integration of Costa in the Luxottica’s brand portfolio and frame network
  • The introduction of a Co-location model to systematically review headquarters locations for EssilorLuxottica
  • A pilot project in Italy to define one single IT platform to be quickly rolled out across the company’s organization

Building the Foundations of a New Common Culture

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The Company is building the foundations of a new culture by combining the best of both worlds.

This includes Essilor’s employee shareholding culture and Luxottica’s welfare traditions, to name a few examples. On September 26, the Company will start campaigning its new global employee shareholding plan. For the first time, the plan will include Luxottica’s employees in Italy, paving the way for a full roll-out of the initiative within EssilorLuxottica globally in the future. As of today, more than 46,000 Essilor employees are EssilorLuxottica shareholders.

Guidelines on Financial Targets

EssilorLuxottica will continue to rely on a strong foundation for future growth, including state-of-the-art research and development, strong brands, sustainable growth levers, and powerful human capital.

In the long-term (up to 2023), the Company’s ambition on financial targets, all of which exclude the impact of strategic acquisitions and currency effect, is as follows:

  • Sales: mid-single-digit growth with a growing contribution from Direct-to-Consumer activities and Fast-Growing Markets1
  • Adjusted2 operating profit: 1.0–1.4x sales
  • Adjusted2 net profit: 1.0–1.5x sales

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OGI Eyewear Names Chief Creative Officer

He will not only lead creative development but will also serve as partner.

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(PRESS RELEASE) OGI Eyewear, a member of The Optical Foundry, announces the appointment of David Duralde as chief creative officer. Duralde has joined the company not only to lead creative development but also as a partner.

Duralde’s distinguished optical career is marked by extensive experience both with licensed and independent brands, including his most recent role as Chief Creative Officer at Kenmark Eyewear. “I am very excited about the opportunity to redefine and reinvigorate the niche independent brands in the OGI portfolio of products and provide a consistent, compelling story to the brands. I can’t wait to get started with the OGI
Eyewear product and marketing teams to connect deeply with our loyal customers, create frames that light up many more faces and help independent practices thrive and shine in this vigorously changing market.” said Duralde.

Robert Rich, CEO of OGI, notes, “David is exactly the right person to lead us in the revitalization of our brand portfolio. Despite a solid market position, OGI and its family of brands will benefit from an injection of fresh ideas and design innovations that will expand our leading role in the realm of affordable luxury frames.”

Rich adds, “This is a homecoming of sorts for David, having begun his formative optical design training at l.a.Eyeworks, another member of the Optical Foundry.”

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First US Patient Gets Wireless Retinal Device Implant

It’s aimed at restoring partial sight to patients with advanced age-related macular degeneration.

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(PRESS RELEASE) PITTSBURGH – UPMC has implanted the first patient in the U.S. with a new wireless retinal device as part of a clinical trial aimed at restoring partial sight to patients with advanced age-related macular degeneration.

“Vision research has advanced dramatically in the recent past and UPMC is at the forefront of this revolution. This is the first of many such breakthroughs led by UPMC and Pitt that will benefit patients with vision loss in our community and around the world,” said José-Alain Sahel, MD, director of the UPMC Eye Center, Eye and Ear Foundation chair of ophthalmology and distinguished professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine who initiated the trial at UPMC. “We are proud to be the first center in the United States to test this next generation retinal implant that could help treat an incurable disease like AMD.”

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The system, called PRIMA, is designed to restore sight in patients blinded by retinal degeneration. It consists of a 2 millimeter-by-2 millimeter, 30-micron thick miniaturized wireless photovoltaic chip placed under the damaged retina. It works in tandem with augmented reality glasses that have a built-in miniaturized camera and infrared projector.

The chip acts like a tiny artificial retina, made up of 378 tiny electrodes that convert infrared light from the glasses to electrical signals that are carried by the optic nerve to the brain. After receiving the implant, patients undergo an intensive rehabilitation program that trains their brains to understand and interpret the signals from the implant in combination with their remaining natural vision. Compared to earlier-generation implants, PRIMA is wireless and has significantly more electrodes, which allows for the transmission of more visual information.

“This is an incredibly exciting first for us at UPMC and I’m honored to be a part of it,” said Joseph Martel, MD, the implanting surgeon at the UPMC Eye Center and the Pitt School of Medicine, and the principal investigator of the trial at UPMC. “I’m grateful to our patients who have volunteered to participate in this trial, without whom this would not be possible.”

AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in people older than 50. Today, it affects approximately 14 million people in the United States, and the prevalence is expected to rise as the baby boomers age. As AMD progresses, the center of vision becomes increasingly blurry. “Atrophic” AMD, which accounts for a large proportion of advanced cases, has no curative treatment available.

The UPMC feasibility trial is running in parallel with the first-in-human trial in France, which involves five patients with advanced AMD, who now have been followed for more than a year. The 12-month results from the French study demonstrated the ability of most patients to identify sequences of letters and there were no device-related serious adverse effects.

“We are working with a great sense of urgency because the aging population of the United States, especially the western Pennsylvania region we live in, will see a significant rise in the number of patients at risk for vision loss through diseases like age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and vascular eye disease, as well as earlier onset genetic conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa,” said Sahel. “This is why our physicians and researchers at UPMC and Pitt, in collaboration with our U.S. and international colleagues — especially at the Paris Vision Institute at Sorbonne University — are taking a multi-pronged effort to treat and rehabilitate patients with vision impairments.”

In March 2019, UPMC broke ground on the UPMC Vision and Rehabilitation Tower at UPMC Mercy, which when completed, will provide advanced specialty clinical care and innovative programs for visually impaired patients. It also will be the home for the vision research program at Pitt and UPMC.

The PRIMA implant was invented by Daniel Palanker, professor of ophthalmology at Stanford University, and licensed and developed by Pixium Vision, a spin-off from the Paris Vision Institute. Sahel is a co-founder of Pixium and holds shares in the company.

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There Might Be a Faster and Cheaper Way to Test for Myopia

The research comes from Flinders University in Australia.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Myopia could become significantly easier to assess, according to a group of scientists.

Progressive research at Flinders University in Australia has identified a new method to measure how it affects the eye, a new article in PLOS ONE reveals.

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The work was based on testing of 70 volunteers, with the Flinders ophthalmology and medical device research institute experts taking a novel approach with optical coherence tomography (OCT), a device already available in most optometric and all ophthalmic practices.

“Our work uses the OCT and finds irregularities at this scale that correlate with the size of the eye, and therefore the degree of myopia,” says eye specialist Dr. Stewart Lake, from Flinders University.

“This may help monitor, measure, and explore the effects of myopia and how it leads to vision loss,” he says, adding that further development could make the system suitable for use in regular clinical practice.

Prior research elsewhere with MRI scanning has demonstrated large scale irregularities in the eyeball in highly myopic eyes.

OCT can sample the shape of the eye on a much smaller scale than MRI. The OCT testing will be far cheaper, is more readily available and repeatable as a test, researchers say in the article.

Myopia (short or near-sightedness) is for many an inconvenience requiring glasses or contact lens to correct. However, globally it is an epidemic and a major cause of vision loss and sometimes blindness.

Myopia is defined practically by the strength of lens required to correct eyesight. It was already known that myopia relates strongly to the size/length of the eyeball.

Global estimates forecast up to 5 billion people will have myopia and 1 billion people could suffer with high myopia by 2050, placing a significant burden on health systems to manage and prevent myopia-related ocular complications and vision loss.

This seven-fold increase, between 2000 and 2050, would make myopia the leading cause of permanent blindness worldwide.

High myopia increases the risk of pathological ocular changes such as cataract, glaucoma, retinal detachment and myopic macular degeneration, all of which cause irreversible vision loss

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