Restructure complete says Optical Express
Optical Express has again placed one of its business units into administration in what was described last week as a final piece of restructuring.
The company announced that it had placed DCM Optical Clinic plc into administration but intended to buy back 16 of the 19 stores in that business and consolidate them into Optical Express Group.
Optical Express chairman and chief executive David Moulsdale said: ‘There will be no job losses, no patient disruption and no supplier loss. My board and I have taken this decision to protect our patients, our employees and our suppliers. This is the final piece in our restructuring jigsaw and puts us in a position of strength to deliver growth, stability and profitability.’
It follows similar steps last year when administrators PKF were appointed to a subsidiary including 80 practices – with 40 absorbed back into the group. The move resulted in criticism from the British Property Federation, which said it was at the expense of landlords (News 12.10.12) but Optical Express said at the time there was little alternative.
Last week the company also announced a reduced turnover following last year’s restructuring of £169m, down 10 per cent, and EBITDA of £6.2m. Since the beginning of 2013 though the group has opened 51 new consultation centres, including four new treatment clinics to support its strategy of moving away from low return, low value retail locations.
In July Moulsdale agreed to a ‘significant’ investment in the company he founded after talks were called to settle debts with The Royal Bank of Scotland. In an interview with Optician the following month (News 30.08.13) he said the UK laser eye surgery sector could decline further in 2014 but expressed confidence that Optical Express would outperform the market.