‘Optical Express has sights set on growth as turnover rises’

Press Article from The Scotsman

Optical Express yesterday announced it is to create 200 jobs with the opening of a customer call centre in Glasgow, as the firm reported robust financial results for the past two years.

The Cumbernauld-based eye-care group announced a strong set of unaudited results for 2008 and filed its 2007 figures with Companies House.

DCM (Optical Holdings), the parent company of Optical Express, said the credit crunch had had little effect on its business as most of its services were viewed as “a necessity rather than a luxury”.

Boosted by a strong performance last year across all aspects of its business, from optical services to laser eye surgery and an orthopaedic hospital in Manchester, the company reported an 18 per cent rise in turnover.

Chairman and Chief Executive, David Moulsdale, said the first quarter of 2009 had shown stronger growth than the same period last year, adding that the group’s forward order book for high-value services such as laser eye surgery was “good”.

He said, “We are confident that this year will be our best ever set of results in terms of both turnover and profit.” Our eyecare services are a necessity rather than a luxury so we have not seen a drop in demand.

“Some of our services are booked well in advance and we can see that demand is already high for 2009.” The group opened 18 new stores last year. Moulsdale said Optical Express, which employs 2000 staff in ten countries, had invested and £24.3m in new store openings and refurbishments.

“We will probably open around five or six stores in 2009” he added. “We won’t be looking to open as many new ones this year due to the economic climate – we want to be a little bit cautious.” Finance director Stewart Mein added, “The group continues to trade strongly, with the first quarter of 2009 performance ahead of projections. “However, we cannot be complacent and our key focus is on customer service, acquisition and retention.”

“Critical to that will be our continued investment in the development of our people. We look forward to another strong year in 2009.”

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