Essilor to allocate exceptional French tax refund to the Group's initiatives to eradicate poor vision
(Charenton-le-Pont - France, March 1 2018) - Essilor today announces that it will invest a further €19M in its philanthropic and inclusive business activities whose shared goal is to eradicate poor vision in one generation. This investment follows on from a one-off dividend tax refund from the French tax authorities, which Essilor's Board of Directors has decided to allocate to activities that support the Company's mission, and in particular its goals to improve awareness and create sustainable vision care infrastructure for the 2.5 billion people in the world living with uncorrected poor vision.
Hubert Sagnières, Chairman and CEO of Essilor International declared "Poor vision is one of the biggest public health challenges in the world: one in three people suffer from uncorrected poor vision which impacts their ability to learn, work and be safe. In the same way that we immunize our children against infectious diseases, we need to immunize everyone against poor vision by making vision care universally available to each person on the planet. Through this decision, and Essilor's renewed commitment, we are convinced we can help mobilize other organizations to join us in our fight to eradicate poor vision in one generation."
4.6 billion people in the world have visual defects, and 2.5 billion still do not have the vision correction they need. In line with Essilor's core mission of improving lives by improving sight and its firm belief that good vision should be a development priority to reach the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, the Company announced a set of 2020 targets focused on tackling this global issue. These include creating 25,000 primary vision care providers, improving 50 million lives at the 'base of the pyramid' and investing €30 million in philanthropic and sustainable programs to pursue efforts in raising awareness and improving access to vision care in underserved regions. With this additional contribution of €19 million, Essilor exceeds the last of these targets, bringing its total contribution towards initiatives to eradicate poor vision to €49 million.
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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 mission is to improve lives by improving sight. To support this mission, Essilor allocates more than €200 million to research and innovation every year, in a commitment to continuously bring new, more effective products to market. Its flagship brands are Varilux®, Crizal®, Transitions®, EyezenTM, Xperio®, Foster Grant®, BolonTM and Costa®. It also develops and markets equipment, instruments and services for eyecare professionals.
Essilor reported consolidated revenue of around €7.5 billion in 2017 and employs approximately 67,000 people worldwide. It markets its products in more than 100 countries and has 34 plants, 481 prescription laboratories and edging facilities, as well as 4 research and development centers around the world. For more information, please visit www.essilor.com.
The Essilor share trades on the 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.