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Opchat Magazine Industry NewsIndustry News, January to March 2016


Essilor marches onwards in a series of acquisitions that bring them even closer to the “coal face”.

Groundbreaking meeting in Birmingham for FMO members.

OKIA at MIDO 2016 Celebrated its patented HDA® TECHNOLOGY’S 10th ANNIVERSARY.

PRAMAOR: 2015 turnover 6.2 million EURO (UP 27% ON 2014),by the manufacturer of Blackfin.

MONDOTTICA announces new licenses.

Shamir Glacier coatings shortlisted for Optician Awards 2016.

FMO announces Spring Meeting.

MONDOTTICA announces License Renewals and New Venture in Japan

Research Initiative awarded at 3rd Annual Glaucoma Masterclass

HOYA Vision Care establishes subsidiary in Russia

Essilor marches onwards in a series of acquisitions that bring them even closer to the “coal face”.

March 2016

Essilor International has recently bought 60 million euros worth of nine external growth transactions.

Their declared aim is to strengthen their foothold in the lens industry with particular emphasis on the online and sunglass sector.

In the US last year this domination was particularly evident in the purchase of Vision Source a buying group consisting of over 4000 independent eye doctor members.

Closer to home Essilor recently bought a majority stake in ECP a Spanish Company which owns CECOP another group purchasing company with over 800 members in the UK, Italy and Portugal.

One of its main strategies is to develop the Kodak brand across these sectors.

Among the other aquisitions purchased in S America and in Russia are very successful companies providing direct online sales of Rx lenses, sunglasses and contact lenses.

Their continued commitment to growth will doubtless crowd the marketplace and make other lens companies and buying groups look over their shoulder.

Buying groups across Europe have traditionally been about a co-operative working group providing members with marketing clout and a broad range of products. How that will continue given the ownership by one large lens company is yet to be seen.

Obviously those considering joining buying groups will need to seriously consider the range of genuine products available to them.

Groundbreaking meeting in Birmingham for FMO members.

March 2016

FMO’s Spring General Meeting, open to all members and their guests, put the spotlight on the future as FMO prepares to celebrate its centenary in 2017.

Said Chairman Mark Truss ‘We need to grow FMO so that it exists for the next 100 years’. Members of the three industry focuses of the FMO – Equipment and Technology, Lenses and Frames - discussed within their focus groups the role of Optrafair as the bastion of membership, and Jon Benson, Managing Director of Mark Allen Healthcare, updated members on the Mark Allen Group’s management of the event, having taken this over from RBI with the acquisition of Optician late last year.

Members heard that registrations are up on the same time last year, and growing more rapidly, with many ‘firsts’ at Optrafair 2016 including an education hub and a Kids Zone.

The thoughts of the focus groups will now be fed into a strategic planning day for the FMO’s Board of Directors to be held in May, but all participants agreed that attracting and retaining members, and developing Optrafair, were central to FMO’s success in the future.

Dr Kettle WilliamsA key part of FMO’s work is ensuring that the education and training of their members’ employees is up to date on new technological advances in the industry, especially in relation to lens production, and it was agreed that this should remain as a priority in the years ahead, working closely with the Association of British Dispensing Opticians and the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers, as well as with the Optical Confederation, of which FMO is a founder member.

The meeting ended with an inspirational keynote speech from linguist and wordsmith Dr Jay Kettle-Williams on ‘what is marketing’ in an international context, with Dr Kettle-Williams summarising the answer as ‘what isn’t?’ focusing on differences in culture as well as language in different world markets.

Said FMO Chief Executive Bryony Pawinska ‘This was my first General Meeting following on from my first FMO Board meeting last month, and I have been incredibly impressed with our members’ passion for the industry and their determination that they will work together wherever they can for the success of the industry and for the benefit of those who work within it. That is exactly what a trade body is for and I am very much looking forward to my first Optrafair as FMO Chief Executive.’

OKIA at MIDO 2016 Celebrated its patented HDA® TECHNOLOGY’S 10th ANNIVERSARY

March 2016

HDA® Technology - the “Designers’ World Revolution” patented by OKIA - turns 10, and the Hong Kong-based eyewear company has made a loud comeback at Mido 2016 to say thanks to anyone who contributed to this important achievement.

Two amazing HDA® frames have been realized by OKIA to celebrate this special occasion: “Champagne Cherry” and “HDA® Safari”.

HDA Safari“Champagne Cherry” is inspired to champagne, the symbol of celebration par excellence: thanks to HDA® Technology you can see the glitter drops of this glamorous drink inside the acetate, as if it was champagne inside a glass. Little stars and a cherry are also exhibited within the acetate to complete the joyful look of the frame.

“HDA® Safari” is a true explosion of lights and gold details! A precious snake pattern is combined with the wording “10th Anniversary” on the frame temples. The sparkling 3d crystals included in the acetate material and the temples’ glitter finish further enrich this unique frame.

Launched for the first time at Mido 2010, HDA® (High Definition Acetate) Technology is a technology developed by OKIA to realize patterns on acetate sheets.

Thanks to this technology, that allows the transformation of textures and colours into crisp high definition which shows depth, it is possible to obtain a wide range of specific colours, gradients and patterns within one frame: for that reason, HDA® is opening completely new possibilities for eyewear design.

Vivid and lifelike patterns can be easily shown on the acetate base through HDA® Technology’s normal application. On the other hand, a number of particular and more specific outcomes can be reached thanks to some special HDA® techniques like BMT (Beautiful Metallic Touch) - which creates a strong metallic touch and allows ultra-sharp cutting for any pattern - and CSB (Crazy Sparkling Beauty), that combines acetate with shining materials and allows random or controlled patterns with an extraordinary non-delaminated effect.

Champagne by HDA HDA® Technology has literally revolutionized the way eyewear designers develop frames: thanks to it patterns and colours can be customized based on each customer’s demand. HDA® Technology provides eyewear with flexibility, originality and authenticity, creating tailor-made frames that tell the story and the DNA of each brand.



Thanks to HDA® Technology OKIA has created more than 39,000 design patterns and more than 100,000 colours over 10 years. “We think you’ll agree, we’ve reinvented acetate”: this tagline expresses the mission of OKIA, to reinvent acetate and to keep innovating the eyewear market bringing out new surprises, inspirations, stories in every single colour they develop.

PRAMAOR: 2015 turnover 6.2 million EURO (UP 27% ON 2014),by the manufacturer of Blackfin.

February 2016

Yet another successful year has drawn to a close for Pramaor, the company based in Taibon Agordino (Belluno) specialising in the design and manufacture of the Blackfin brand, top-of-the-range titanium eyewear.

2015 ended with a turnover of €6.2 million, up 27% on the previous year, driven above all by exports, representing 75% of sales, a 38% increase amounting to €4.7 million.

A positive trend also in the Italian domestic market which showed growth of 14% despite the ongoing general stagnation in consumption.

Nicola Del Din Blackfin“2015 has been a very gratifying year” – states Nicola Del Din, CEO of Pramaor – “both in terms of business and branding. The market has rewarded us a number of times, demonstrating that the path we have been following for some years now, focusing on the Blackfin brand, has proved to be an out and out winner. As regards our business plan, we are further strengthening our direct distribution channels and opening up to new countries.

" We continue to make major investments in research and in marketing and communications, forging partnerships with such celebrated figures as tenor Andrea Bocelli and his Teatro del Silenzio. For sometime we have been promoting the authenticity of our products and this year at MIDO we are very proud to be presenting a new communications campaign clearly setting out our position on the true meaning of the Made-in-Italy”.

In 2015 Blackfin was awarded the Bestand prize for the best stand at MIDO, the Silmo d’Or for an innovative patent and the silver V. Award in Hong Kong in the sunglass category.

At MIDO 2016 we will be presenting a video dedicated to the neomadeinitaly concept, the guiding principle of our Agordo-based company which relates to how all Blackfin eyewear is entirely designed and manufactured in Italy.

The company has strengthened the production department, added an extension to their premises in Taibon Agordino, and is due to be inaugurated in June this year.

They have also made improvements to their customer care service to guarantee opticians first rate pre and post-sales assistance including the addition of a personalised digital application.

“We are still extremely optimistic in the light of the results for the first two months of this year” continues Nicola Del Din. “In February our orders were up by 50% and turnover up 54% on January-February 2015. Amazing!”.

Pramaor, has an in-house staff of 56 plus 22 direct agents, sells the Blackfin collections in nearly 40 nations world-wide.

This year the company added Denmark to the list of direct distributors in Italy, Austria, Germany, Spain, France and Greece and in a couple of months Sweden and the UK will be joining up.

MONDOTTICA announces new licenses

February 2016

Mondottica has announced the signing of two new eyewear licenses; for Cath Kidston and Le Coq Sportif.

The license with the iconic Cath Kidston brand is worldwide and is targeted to major retailers initially in Europe and Asia. It will include optical frames, sunglasses and readers. It will also extend to designer prescription contact lenses for the Asian market.

The initial license will run until 2020 with renewal options.

The license with Le Coq Sportif is also targeted to key retailers initially in France and Switzerland.

Group Commercial Director Steve Tulba said: “We are delighted to partner with Cath Kidston and Le Coq Sportif to create the first eyewear collections for
both brands. They both offer something very unique, adding even more diversity and global appeal to the current stable of Mondottica licensed brands”.

Shamir is pleased to announce that the Glacier premium UV coatings range has been shortlisted for Lens product of the year at the Optician Awards 2016.

Shamir UV coatings provide solutions to everyday problems faced by spectacle wearers. Whether sunglasses or transparent lenses Shamir provides a coating that could benefit all spectacle wearers in their daily routine.

For any activity or lifestyle the coatings provide enhanced transmittance, improved scratch resistance, durability and water resistance, but crucially anti-reflectance and UV protection from the sun’s rays.

With certified E-SPF UV protection throughout the range, your patients can easily understand the benefits of having one of the Shamir Glacier coatings.

For better daily comfort choose Shamir Glacier UV Coatings. Read more about Shamir and link to their site here.

FMO announces Spring Meeting.

February 2016

The spring meeting of the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians is to be held on Wednesday 2nd March 2016 at the NEC Birmingham. The event, drawing together the UK’s leading optical suppliers, provides an excellent opportunity to network and take part in industry specific frame, lens and equipment Focus Groups.

The morning session will open with a warm welcome from FMO Chairman, Mark Truss and an update on Optrafair 2016 by Ed Tranter, Managing Director MA Exhibitions Ltd.

Attendees will then take part in Focus Group Meetings and will have a chance to network over a buffet lunch. In the afternoon a plenary meeting from the Focus Groups will be followed by a talk entitled ‘Overcoming international barriers to communication’ by guest speaker, linguist and wordsmith Dr Jay Kettle Williams.

Said FMO Chief Executive Bryony Pawinska “We really want to hear the views of members about priorities for FMO in the year ahead and the longer term, including Optrafair, and this event provides members, and any colleagues they would like to bring along, with an opportunity to contribute to these important discussions as well as hearing from an inspirational speaker”.

Those interested in attending the event should contact Marianne MacRitchie, on

MONDOTTICA announces License Renewals and New Venture in Japan

January 2016

Mondottica has announced to have renewed eyewear licenses with Ted Baker, Pepe Jeans and Christian Lacroix.

The Ted Baker license runs through 2020, while Pepe Jeans and Christian Lacroix will run through 2018.

They join Hackett, Anna Sui and Marimekko, with whom long term agreements continue to be in place.

Mondottica founder and CEO Michael Jardine comments: "We are very pleased that these key brands remain locked in for this coming period, which we anticipate will be the biggest growth in our history.

We are announcing many new developments and it is reassuring the know that we have our key brand partners in place to anchor our future.”

Hot on the heels of Jardine’s comments comes the news that they have created a new joint venture In Japan.

Mondottica International has announced the establishment of Mondottica Japan KK, a new joint venture company between Mondottica and Murai Inc.

Murai is a famous and long established company in the Japanese market and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nihon Seimitsu KK, which trades on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Murai is already distributing several key brands for Mondottica, including Yohji Yamamoto, Anna Sui and Marimekko.

They will be transferred to Mondottica Japan, which will exploit additional Mondottica brands in the future.

The new company will begin operations in January of this year.

Research Initiative awarded at 3rd Annual Glaucoma Masterclass

January 2016

Heidelberg Academy
The Heidelberg Engineering Academy Glaucoma Faculty recently held the third annual Glaucoma Masterclass at the City Rooms Hotel, Leicester.

After a warm welcome from the Faculty Co-Chairman, Nick Strouthidis, Consultant Ophthalmologist and Director of the Glaucoma Service at Moorfields Eye Hospital, guests enjoyed an informative keynote lecture from Colm O’Brien, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Dublin, - Optic Disc Cupping: the View from the Lab.

This year’s Masterclass saw the introduction of the Glaucoma Research Initiative; a £10,000 research grant awarded to the institution submitting the most innovative research proposal in the field of glaucoma.

The authors of the top three submissions presented their research proposals. Andrew Tatham, Consultant Eye Surgeon at Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at University of Edinburgh presented a proposal on ‘Portable perimetry using eye tracking and a virtual reality headset’.

Arij Daas of Royal London Hospital shared her work on ‘Investigating olfaction function in glaucoma’. Dr. Sabina Sapeta of the Medical University Vienna presented the submission on‘ Aqueous outflow system structures imaging with ultra-high-resolution OCT in glaucoma’.

“Heidelberg Engineering has a rich history of collaboration with clinicians and researchers to develop new clinical applications for imaging technologies,” explained Krysten Williams, Director of Heidelberg Engineering in the UK. “We hope that the introduction of the glaucoma research initiative demonstrates our ongoing commitment to supporting research that will improve patient care.”

The Medical University Vienna was announced the winner of The Glaucoma Research Initiative for their research project which aimed to employ ultra-high-resolution OCT for imaging of the aqueous outflow system and to perform 3D reconstruction of Schlemm’s canal and evaluation of lumen diameter in glaucoma patients. Dr. Sabina Sapeta and Assistant Professor Rene Werkmeister received the prize on behalf of the University from renowned International Glaucoma Association Professor of Ophthalmology Ted Garway-Heath.


HOYA Vision Care establishes subsidiary in Russia

January 2016

HOYA Vision Care Company, a key player in the global market for ophthalmic lenses, announces the establishment of HOYA Lens RUS LLC.

Building on a strong position in the Russian Federation through a longtime local distributor, HOYA is now entering the market directly to provide better service and further develop its customer base. HOYA sees significant opportunities to expand its business in Russia and become a leading provider of advanced eye-care products, services and technologies.

Mr. Evgeny Shumilov, managing director of HOYA Lens RUS, said: “We look forward to building on the success the HOYA brand has enjoyed in Russia over the past 11 years. We intend to foster close relationships with our customers, and are highly committed to enriching their practice with best-in-class lens materials, designs and surface treatments. By launching new services for our customers, we will continue our innovation strategy.”

Mr. Hans Werquin, CEO of HOYA Vision Care Europe, added: “We are immensely proud to establish our own entity in Russia. The country is one of our key strategic markets with exciting potential for value-added vision correction products. HOYA greatly values its close proximity to its customers, offering them quick access to the latest innovations and technologies, providing direct support and building business in partnership. A presence in Russia will allow us to strengthen this relationship and lay the foundations for future growth.”

Founded in 1941 in Tokyo, Japan, HOYA is a global med-tech company and the leading supplier of innovative high-tech and medical products. HOYA is active in the fields of healthcare and information technology, providing eyeglasses, medical endoscopes, intraocular lenses, optical lenses as well as key components for semiconductor devices, LCD panels and HDDs. With more than 150 offices and subsidiaries worldwide, HOYA currently employs a multinational workforce of over 34,000 people.

Hoya will be at 100% London. Read about what they are showing there.

Hoya are also one of our Sponsors. See them in our suppliers guide.
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