New Look Reports Increased Revenues for Q1

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MONTREAL, Quebec— New Look Eyewear Inc. (TSX: BCI), the Canadian optical retailer, reported record revenues of $31.8 million for the first quarter ended March 29, 2014, an increase of 57 percent over last year, in addition to a 63 percent increase in EBITDA to $5 million. Both gains are principally attributable, the company said, to the addition of the Vogue 65 stores last December. In addition, the acquisition of two independent practices, the opening of three stores, and the conclusion of two business arrangements with affiliates, all in 2013, also contributed to the increase in revenues and EBITDA, the company added.

Comparable store sales for the company Comparable store(2) sales orders were up 0.7 percent year over year.

Net earnings decreased by $305,000 to $1 million for the period, as a consequence of additional depreciation, amortization, equity-based compensation, and financial expenses related to the Vogue acquisition including an expense of $282,000 as change in fair value of an interest rate swap. As a consequence of this and also the issuance of 2.2 million shares in 2013 to finance the acquisition, net earnings per share decreased from $0.12 to $0.08.

Martial Gagne, president of New Look, commented: "We are pleased with the first quarter results achieved in spite of very adverse weather conditions. During the quarter, we completed the new layout of our manufacturing and distribution premises in St. Laurent, Quebec doubling our processing capacities thereby positioning the company for further growth. The addition of Vogue Optical creates a dynamic environment where both management teams are working at identifying areas of improvement for the overall operations and profitability."

Antoine Amiel, vice chairman of New Look, added, "During the first quarter, Vogue's integration progressed according to plans with sharing of best practices and leveraging of the combined entities' purchasing power. New Look opened a new store in Chambly (QC) to bring the group's total to 141. We expect other development initiatives to materialize in the coming quarters as we endeavor to grow profitably in our existing markets and in the rest of Canada.”