Laser Eye Surgery Demand Increases Optical Express Revenue and Profit
Optical Express, the eye care company owned by Scottish entrepreneur David Moulsdale, recorded a strong increase in revenue and profit last year amid strong demand for laser eye surgery.
New accounts for Lorena Investments, parent company of Optical Express, show the group’s 120 outlets generated a combined turnover of £157.4million in the year to January 1 , up from £99.1m previously. Pre-tax profits reached £52.1m from £20.1m the previous year.
Director Stewart Mein said it was a “very busy” year for refractive eye surgery as lockdown restrictions limited consumer discretionary spending on other things such as travel and dinner at the restaurant. There has also been an increase in demand for cataract procedures.
“Through a combination of continued investment in new cutting-edge technologies and in our people, we made significant progress during the year,” he said.
“However, we remain vigilant to changing consumer habits and financial pressures, therefore we will not pay a dividend out of a sense of caution. In 2022, we are feeling the impact of escalating costs of utilities, personal and almost all supplies.
He added that current trading should result in “another good year” for Optical Express, although “not as good” as 2021.
Last year, the company invested in additional technology in its clinics for earlier detection of eye conditions and “better understanding of the health and the refractive demands of our patients”.
January 2021 also saw the acquisition of Anglia Community Eye Service, an independent NHS eye care provider in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Mr Mein said Optical Express was looking to expand it to other parts of England.
The highest paid director, presumably Mr Moulsdale, received total emoluments of £501,000, unchanged from 2020. The group employed an average of 1,140 people during the year.
Mr Mein added: “Looking ahead, we remain cautiously bullish on current trading, but remain mindful of both legacy Covid issues and current financial pressures on consumers. In the absence of dividend payments, we will continue to invest in the Company and above all our greatest asset – our employees.