New Look Vision Group Inc. Reports Strong Results for the First Quarter of Fiscal 2021

·19 min read

Revenues rose to $86.6 million, up 27.3% y-o-y

Comparable store sales up 24.5% y-o-y

Adjusted EBITDA attributed to shareholders up 50.2% and on a per diluted share basis up by 48.0% y-o-y

MONTRÉAL, May 11, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- New Look Vision Group Inc. ("New Look Vision" or the "Company") (TSX: BCI), a leader in the Canadian retail optical industry with stores across Canada and in Florida, reported financial results today for the 13 week periods ended March 27, 2021 (“Q1 2021”), and provided updates on actions in response to COVID-19, store re-openings, on omnichannel and facility consolidation. This press release should be read in conjunction with the Company’s management discussion and analysis and consolidated financial statements for fiscal 2020, which are available on the Company’s website at www.newlookvision.ca/investors and under the Company's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Q1 2021 highlights, excluding the impact of IFRS 16, where applicable are:

  • Revenues increased by 27.3% compared to the first quarter of last year to reach $86.6 million as a result of comparable store sales, revenues from newly acquired stores and COVID-19 temporary store closures in March 2020 as opposed to essential services exempted lockdown in 2021.

  • Comparable store sales were up 24.5% as a result of enhanced store operating procedures and a shift in customer behavior.

  • Adjusted EBITDA attributed to shareholders reached $17.1 million, a 72.2% increase over the first quarter of last year.

  • Net earnings attributed to shareholders reached $4.2 million, a 2,195.7% increase compared to the first quarter of last year or 2,600.0% on a per diluted share basis.

  • Adjusted net earnings attributed to shareholders increased by 352.1% compared to the first quarter of last year (358.3% on a per diluted share basis) to $8.7 million.

  • Compared to the first quarter of last year, cash flows related to operating activities reached $9.2 million, an increase of 14.6% or 13.7% on a per diluted share basis.

  • Strong cash position at quarter end of $57.2 million coupled with available credit of $49.4 million.

  • Net debt was $169.1 million compared to $175.5 million as of Q1 2020.

  • The Company actively continued to pursue its significant pipeline of acquisition opportunities in Canada and the United States and acquired 6 stores in the quarter.

President & CEO's comments

Antoine Amiel, the President and CEO of New Look Vision, stated that: “New Look Vision carried forward its momentum from the second half of 2020 into 2021 with comparable sales growth rising to 24.5% despite the extended COVID-19 restrictions during the quarter. We continued consolidating the fragmented Canadian retail optical market, with six stores acquired since the beginning of the year. More importantly, we’d like to take this time to thank the dedication of the team in the face of the ongoing challenging environment."

COVID-19 and Store re-opening

During Q1 2021, the Company faced renewed COVID-19 regional restrictions in the market in which it operates despite the Company posted another strong quarter in spite of the ongoing impact of COVID-19. In advance of reopening its stores, the Company issued stringent health and safety procedures, undertook extensive training in the form of in-store rehearsals and is providing each location with prescribed personal protection equipment.

COVID-19 has significantly altered the way optical retailers operate on both brick and mortar and eCommerce levels. As consumers increasingly move online, New Look Vision’s investments in omnichannel experience and anticipation of the evolving consumer journey complements and enhances its physical retail presence. This approach increases accessibility to differentiated, customized and precise eyecare, while ensuring safety for consumers across Canada. Our central lens processing facility pivoted to begin producing safety eyewear for use in health care facilities.

Status of Dividend

Effective March 19, 2020, the Company's Board of Directors suspended the regular quarterly dividend and the corresponding dividend reinvestment plan until further notice, due to the pending impact of the pandemic on the Company's business and liquidity.

The decision to declare a dividend is made quarterly when the financial statements for a quarter or a financial year are made available to the Board of Directors. Although there is no guarantee that a dividend will be declared in the future, New Look Vision and its predecessor, Benvest New Look Income Fund, have regularly paid a dividend or distribution since 2005 through 2019.

As at April 30, 2021, New Look Vision had 15,660,199 Class A common shares issued and outstanding.

Arrangement Agreement to be Acquired

On March 18, 2021, the Company announced that it had entered into an arrangement agreement to be acquired by NL1 AcquireCo Inc., an entity created by a group composed of funds managed by FFL Partners, LLC, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, and the Dr. H. Doug Barnes Family. The Shareholders meeting is scheduled to be held as a virtual-only meeting conducted by live audio webcast at https://web.lumiagm.com/238565705 on May 14, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.

Attachments

  • Table A - Highlights

  • Table B - Impact of IFRS 16

  • Table C - Consolidated Statement of Earnings

  • Table D - Reconciliation of Net Earnings to Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Attributed to Shareholders

  • Table E - Reconciliation of Net Earnings Attributed to Shareholders to Adjusted Net Earnings Attributed to Shareholders

  • Table F - Reconciliation of Free Cash Flow and Adjusted Cash Flows Related to Operating Activities

a) EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA attributed to shareholders, adjusted net earnings, adjusted net earnings attributed to shareholders, free cash flow and adjusted cash flows related to operating activities are not recognized measures under IFRS and may not be comparable to similar measures used by other entities.

About New Look Vision Group Inc. New Look Vision is a leader in the eye care industry in Canada with a network of 408 stores, as at May 11, 2021, operating mainly under the New Look Eyewear, Vogue Optical, Greiche & Scaff, Iris, Edward Beiner banners (in the US) and The Vision Clinic in addition to, laboratory facility using state-of-the-art technologies. Tax information regarding payments to shareholders is available at www.newlookvision.ca in the Investors section.

All statements other than statements of historical fact contained in this press release are forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding the future financial position, business strategy, projected costs and plans and objectives of, or involving New Look Vision. Readers can identify many of these statements by looking for words such as “believe”, “expects”, “will”, “intends”, “projects”, “anticipates”, “estimates”, “plans”, “may”, “would” or similar words or the negative thereof. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Although management of New Look Vision believes that the plans, intentions or expectations represented in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, there can be no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Some of the factors which could affect future results and could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements contained herein include: pending and proposed legislative or regulatory developments, competition from established competitors and new market entrants, technological change, interest rate fluctuations, general economic conditions, acceptance and demand for new products and services, and fluctuations in operating results, as well as other risks included in New Look Vision’s current Annual Information Form (AIF) which can be found at www.sedar.com. The forward-looking statements included in this press release are made as of the date hereof, and New Look Vision undertakes no obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect new information, subsequent events or otherwise, except as provided by law.

For additional information please see our website at www.newlookvision.ca. For enquiries, please contact Lise Melanson (514) 877-4119.



TABLE A

NEW LOOK VISION GROUP INC.
Highlights
For the years ended March 27, 2021 and March 28, 2020

In thousands of Canadian dollars, except per share amounts

Mar. 27, 2021

Mar. 28, 2020

Mar. 27, 2021
(excl. IFRS 16)

Mar. 28, 2020
(excl. IFRS 16)

Revenues

$86,583

$68,034

$86,583

$68,034

Variance %

27.3 %

27.3 %

Variance in comparable store sales orders(a)

24.5 %

2.1 %

24.5 %

2.1 %

Adjusted EBITDA attributed to shareholders(b)

$23,134

$15,403

$17,130

$9,950

Variance %

50.2 %

72.2 %

% of revenues

26.7 %

22.6 %

19.8 %

14.6 %

Per share (diluted)

$1.45

$0.98

$1.08

$0.64

Variance %

48.0 %

68.8 %

Net earnings (loss) attributed to shareholders

$3,674

($317

)

$4,224

$184

Variance %

1,259.0 %

2,195.7 %

% of revenues

4.2 %

(0.5 %

)

4.9 %

0.3 %

Net earnings (loss) per share

Per share (diluted)

$0.23

($0.02

)

$0.27

$0.01

Variance %

1,250.0 %

2,600.0 %

Adjusted net earnings attributed to shareholders(b)

$8,194

$1,433

$8,744

$1,934

Variance %

471.8 %

352.1 %

% of revenues

9.5 %

2.1 %

10.1 %

2.8 %

Per share (diluted)

$0.51

$0.09

$0.55

$0.12

Variance %

466.7 %

358.3 %

Cash flows related to operating activities

$14,190

$13,477

$9,196

$8,024

Variance %

5.3 %

14.6 %

Per share (diluted)

$0.89

$0.86

$0.58

$0.51

Variance %

3.5 %

13.7 %

Free cash flow(b)(c)

$12,002

$9,922

$7,008

$4,469

Variance %

21.0 %

56.8 %

Per share (diluted)

$0.75

$0.63

$0.44

$0.29

Variance %

19.0 %

51.7 %

Total debt(c)

$226,239

$186,401

$226,239

$186,401

Net debt / Adjusted EBITDA attributed to shareholders(b)(e)

1.93

2.96

2.64

3.25

Number of stores(d)

406

393

406

393


a)

Comparable stores are stores which have been operating for at least 12 months. Revenues are recognized at time of delivery of goods to customers, however management measures the comparable store performance on the basis of sales orders, whether delivered or not.

b)

Adjusted EBITDA attributed to shareholders, adjusted net earnings attributed to shareholders, free cash flow and comparable store sales orders are not recognized measures under IFRS and may not be comparable to similar measures used by other entities. Refer to Table D and Table E for the reconciliations of these measures to net earnings, and to Table F for the reconciliation of cash flows.

c)

Free cash flow is defined as operating cash flows less acquisitions of property, plant and equipment.

d)

Total debt is defined as long-term debt excluding IFRS 16 lease liabilities.

e)

Net debt is defined as total debt less cash. Adjusted EBITDA attributed to shareholders represents the amount over the last four rolling quarters.

f)

The increase in the number of stores in the last twelve months reflects the acquisition of 25 stores net of 1 planned merger, 9 planned closures and the sale of one clinic.




TABLE B

NEW LOOK VISION GROUP INC.
Impact of IFRS 16
For the years ended March 27, 2021 and March 28, 2020

In thousands of Canadian dollars, except per share amounts

The Company has adopted IFRS 16 Leases effective Q1 2020. This standard replaces IAS 17 Leases. The Company has applied a modified retrospective approach; the operating results of previous fiscal periods have not been restated. The adoption of this standard has impacted the Company’s financial results since 2020. Certain occupancy-related expenses previously recorded under the caption other operating expenses are now recorded as depreciation and interest expense.

This change has resulted in a reduction to Other operating expenses with a corresponding increase in EBITDA when compared to the same metrics under IAS 17. Depreciation and financial expenses have increased as a result of the application of the standard.

The impact of IFRS 16 on the key metrics in the first quarters ended March 27, 2021 and March 28, 2020 are summarized in the table below:

2021

Impact of
IFRS 16

2021 (excl.
IFRS 16)

2020

Impact of
IFRS 16

2020
(excl. IFRS 16)

Change
(excl. IFRS 16)

$

$

$

$

$

$

$

Adjusted EBITDA attributed to shareholders(a)

$23,134

($6,004

)

$17,130

$15,403

($5,453

)

$9,950

$7,180

% of revenues

26.7 %

(6.9 %

)

19.8 %

22.6 %

(8.0 %

)

14.6 %

5.2 %

Per share (diluted)

$1.45

$(0.37

)

$1.08

$0.98

$(0.35

)

$0.63

$0.45

Net earnings (loss) attributed to shareholders

$3,674

$550

$4,224

($317

)

$501

$184

$4,040

% of revenues

4.2 %

0.6 %

4.9 %

(0.5 %

)

0.7 %

0.2 %

4.7 %

Per share (diluted)

$0.23

$0.04

$0.27

$(0.02

)

$0.03

$0.01

$0.26

Adjusted net earnings attributed to shareholders(a)

$8,194

$550

$8,744

$1,433

$501

$1,934

$6,810

% of revenues

9.5 %

0.6 %

10.1 %

2.1 %

0.7 %

2.8 %

7.3 %

Per share (diluted)

$0.51

$0.03

$0.55

$0.09

$0.03

$0.12

$0.43

Cash flows related to operating activities

$14,190

($4,994

)

$9,196

$13,477

($5,453

)

$8,024

$1,172

Per share (diluted)

$0.89

$(0.31

)

$0.58

$0.86

$(0.35

)

$0.51

$0.07

Free cash flow(a)

$12,002

($4,994

)

$7,008

$9,922

($5,453

)

$4,469

$2,539

Per share (diluted)

$0.75

($0.31

)

$0.44

$0.63

($0.35

)

$0.28

$0.16

a) Adjusted EBITDA attributed to shareholders, adjusted net earnings attributed to shareholders and free cash flow are not recognized measures under IFRS and may not be comparable to similar measures used by other entities. Refer to Table D and Table E for the reconciliations of these measures to net earnings, and to Table F for the reconciliation of cash flows.



TABLE C

NEW LOOK VISION GROUP INC.
Consolidated Statement of Earnings
For the years ended March 27, 2021 and March 28, 2020

In thousands of Canadian dollars, except per share amounts

2021

2020

$

$

Revenues

86,583

68,034

Materials consumed

19,747

15,638

Employee remuneration expenses

29,317

23,617

Other operating expenses

18,402

14,300

Earnings before depreciation, amortization, loss on disposal, financial expenses, and income from investments in joint ventures and associates

19,117

14,479

Depreciation, amortization and loss on disposal

10,683

9,313

Financial expenses, net of interest revenue

3,892

5,629

Earnings (loss) before income from investments in joint ventures and associates and income taxes

4,542

(463

)

Income from investments in joint ventures and associates

898

185

Earnings (loss) before income taxes

5,440

(278

)

Income taxes

Current

1,063

972

Deferred

415

(978

)

Total income taxes

1,478

(6

)

Net earnings (loss)

3,962

(272

)

Net earnings (loss) attributed to:

Non-controlling interest

288

45

Shareholders of New Look Vision

3,674

(317

)

3,962

(272

)

Net earnings (loss) per share

Basic

0.23

(0.02

)

Diluted

0.23

(0.02

)





















TABLE D



NEW LOOK VISION GROUP INC.
Reconciliation of Net Earnings to Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Attributed to Shareholders
For the years ended March 27, 2021 and March 28, 2020

In thousands of Canadian dollars, except per share amounts

2021

2020

2021 (excl. IFRS
16)

2020 (excl. IFRS
16)

$

$

$

$

Net earnings (loss)

3,962

(272

)

4,532

229

Depreciation, amortization and loss on disposal

10,683

9,313

5,570

4,603

Financial expenses, net of interest revenue

3,892

5,629

2,322

4,195

Income taxes

1,478

(6

)

1,681

184

EBITDA(a)

20,015

14,664

14,105

9,211

Equity-based compensation(b)

414

168

414

168

Acquisition-related costs(c)

701

432

701

432

Other non-comparable items(d)

2,362

170

2,362

170

Adjusted EBITDA(a)

23,492

15,434

17,582

9,981

Variance in $

8,058

7,601

Variance in %

52.2 %

76.2 %

% of revenues

27.1 %

22.7 %

20.3 %

14.7 %

Per share (basic)

1.50

0.99

1.12

0.64

Per share (diluted)

1.48

0.99

1.10

0.64




The following table represents the adjusted EBITDA available to New Look Vision shareholders, which takes into consideration the investments in joint ventures and associates.

2021

2020

2021 (excl. IFRS
16)

2020 (excl. IFRS
16)

$

$

$

$

Adjusted EBITDA(a)

23,492

15,434

17,582

9,981

Income from investments in joint ventures and associates

(898

)

(185

)

(921

)

(185

)

EBITDA from investments in joint ventures and associates

1,313

397

1,104

397

EBITDA attributed to non-controlling interest

(773

)

(243

)

(635

)

(243

)

Adjusted EBITDA attributed to shareholders(a)

23,134

15,403

17,130

9,950

  1. EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA attributed to shareholders are not recognized measures under IFRS and may not be comparable to similar measures used by other entities. New Look Vision believes that EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA attributed to shareholders are useful financial metrics as they assist in determining the ability to generate cash from operations. Investors should be cautioned that EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA attributed to shareholders should not be considered as an alternative to net earnings or cash flows as determined under IFRS.

  2. Equity-based compensation represents the fair value of New Look Vision stock options vested in the period.

  3. Acquisition-related costs are composed of wages and professional fees specifically incurred in the business acquisition process, whether an acquisition is completed or not.

  4. Other non-comparable items include one-time expenses (income) connected with restructuring and transition related matters.





TABLE E

NEW LOOK VISION GROUP INC.
Reconciliation of Net Earnings Attributed to Shareholders to Adjusted Net Earnings Attributed to Shareholders
For the years ended March 27, 2021 and March 28, 2020

In thousands of Canadian dollars, except per share amounts

2021

2020

2021 (excl. IFRS
16)

2020 (excl. IFRS
16)

$

$

$

$

Net earnings (loss) attributed to shareholders

3,674

(317

)

4,224

184

Amortization of acquired intangibles

2,257

1,648

2,257

1,648

Acquisition-related costs

701

432

701

432

Equity-based compensation

414

168

414

168

Other non-comparable items

2,362

170

2,362

170

Related income taxes

(1,214

)

(668

)

(1,214

)

(668

)

Adjusted net earnings attributed to shareholders(a)

8,194

1,433

8,744

1,934

Variance in $

6,761

6,810

Variance in %

471.8 %

352.1 %

% of revenues

9.5 %

2.1 %

10.1 %

2.8 %

Per share amount

Basic

0.52

0.09

0.56

0.12

Diluted

0.51

0.09

0.55

0.12

a) Adjusted net earnings attributed to shareholders are not a recognized measure under IFRS and may not be comparable to similar measures used by other entities. New Look Vision believes that this disclosure provides useful information as it allows the comparison of net results excluding amortization of acquired intangibles, acquisition-related costs, equity-based compensation, other non-comparable items and related income taxes, which may vary significantly from quarter to quarter. Investors should be cautioned that adjusted net earnings should not be considered as an alternative to net earnings as determined under IFRS.





TABLE F

NEW LOOK VISION GROUP INC.
Reconciliation of Free Cash Flow and Adjusted Cash Flows Related to Operating Activities
For the years ended March 27, 2021 and March 28, 2020

In thousands of Canadian dollars, except per share amounts

2021

2020

2021 (excl. IFRS
16)

2020 (excl. IFRS
16)

$

$

$

$

Earnings (loss) before income taxes

5,440

(278

)

6,213

413

Adjustments:

Depreciation, amortization and loss on disposal

10,683

9,313

5,570

4,603

Equity-based compensation

414

168

414

168

Financial expenses

4,070

5,772

2,500

4,338

Interest revenue

(178

)

(143

)

(178

)

(143

)

Other

528

(712

)

528

(712

)

Income from investments in joint ventures and associates

(898

)

(185

)

(921

)

(185

)

Income taxes paid

(1,575

)

(1,173

)

(1,575

)

(1,173

)

Cash flows related to operating activities, before changes in working capital items

18,484

12,762

12,551

7,309

Changes in working capital items

(4,294

)

715

(3,355

)

715

Cash flows related to operating activities

14,190

13,477

9,196

8,024

Free cash flow

2021

2020

2021 (excl. IFRS
16)

2020 (excl. IFRS
16)

$

$

$

$

Cash flows related to operating activities

14,190

13,477

9,196

8,024

Acquisitions of property, plant and equipment

(2,188

)

(3,555

)

(2,188

)

(3,555

)

Free cash flow(a)

12,002

9,922

7,008

4,469


a)

Free cash flow is not a recognized measure under IFRS and may not be comparable to similar measures used by other entities. New Look Vision believes that this disclosure provides useful information as it provides insight on operating cash flows available after considering necessary capital investments. Investors should be cautioned that free cash flow should not be considered as an alternative to cash flows related to operating activities as determined under IFRS.

Adjusted cash flows related to operating activities

2021

2020

2021 (excl. IFRS
16)

2020 (excl. IFRS
16)

$

$

$

$

Cash flows related to operating activities

14,190

13,477

9,196

8,024

Income taxes paid

1,575

(1,173

)

1,575

(1,173

)

Changes in working capital items

4,294

(715

)

3,355

(715

)

Acquisition-related costs

701

432

701

432

Other non-comparable items

2,362

170

2,362

170

Adjusted cash flows related to operating activities(a)

23,122

12,191

17,189

6,738


a)

Adjusted cash flows related to operating activities are not a recognized measure under IFRS and may not be comparable to similar measures used by other entities. New Look Vision believes that this disclosure provides useful information as it allows the comparison of net operating cash flows excluding income taxes paid, changes in working capital items, acquisition-related costs and other non-comparable items, which may vary significantly from quarter to quarter. Certain occupancy-related expenses previously recorded in the cash flows related to operating activities are now presented in the cash flows related to financing activities. Investors should be cautioned that adjusted cash flows related to operating activities should not be considered as an alternative to cash flows related to operating activities as determined under IFRS.


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