Chain impacted

Optical Express profits hit by fall in eye surgery

Optical Express eye surgery
Fewer customers are seeking eye surgery

Optical Express owner Lorena Investments has posted a sharp fall in profits as cost of living pressures forced consumers to delay eye surgery.

Annual accounts show pre-tax profit in 2022 slumped by 23% from £52.14 million to £39.82m on a 7% decline in revenue from £157.39m to £146.54m.

The business is one of the UK’s biggest providers of laser surgery, having carried out two million procedures.

But the company said its financial performance had been affected by the escalating costs while the “significant impact on individuals and families” from cost of living pressures resulted in fewer patients going ahead with eye surgery.

David Moulsdale launched Optical Express in 1990 with a single shop in Edinburgh and remains its chairman and principal shareholder.

It is based in Cumbernauld and now has outlets across the UK and Europe. Staff numbers during the last year grew from grew from 1155 to 1230.

The highest-paid director received emoluments worth £501,000, which was in line with the previous year. A dividend worth £1.48 million was paid to shareholders, compared with £1.3 million in the prior year.

Mr Moulsdale said even though trading conditions were tough the group had continued to invest in technology and training during the year.

“Through a combination of continued investment in the latest and most advanced technology and in our people we are reporting reasonable progress during 2022,” he said.

“Obviously, our earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation and profit are down from last year.

“However, this should be reviewed against the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, resulting in a significant reduction in consumer confidence. Nevertheless, our teams across the group have delivered strong numbers in a challenging economic environment.”

The company is running a campaign offering £1 million of free laser eye surgery to NHS and emergency service workers.

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