Dutch eyewear retailer GrandVision suffered a profit drop last year, despite a 9 % turnover rise. Moreover, the acquisition by EssilorLuxottica is still on hold as European competition authorities want to further look into the deal.
In 2019, the owner of chains like Pearle and EyeWish saw its turnover rise to four billion euros as the acquisitions of Dutch Charlie Temple and Swiss McOptic proved to be very successful and came on top of organic turnover growth of existing branches.
This did not, however, result in a rise in profits: net profit dropped 18.7 % to 178 million euros as the Dutch group invested heavily in digitisation and had a substantial write-off of software. Excluding these one-off costs (and the preparation costs of the takeover by EssilorLuxottica), there would have been a 4.7 % profit growth.
EU continues investigation
Another setback for GrandVision is the news that the EU has extended the deadline for the investigation into the acquisition. Critics fear that the concentration of power in the union of the eyewear manufacturer (famous for brands like Ray-Ban) and the eyewear retailer would bee too big.
The EU is now looking into whether the acquisition deal - worth 7.2 billion euros - would indeed disturb the eyewear markets. In order to do so properly, it has extended the investigation deadline to 6 July.