The Other Europe segment includes the business units that operate in Northern, Eastern and Southern Europe. These business units manage single or multiple optical retail banners in one or several countries. The banners are predominantly comprised of own stores and, to a lesser extent, franchise stores.
In many markets, GrandVision banners have market leading positions, e.g. in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Portugal. Key banners include GrandVision with 283 stores across Italy, Multiopticas in Portugal with 213 stores, Vision Express in Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria with 243 stores, as well as Synoptik in Sweden and Denmark with 238 stores. At the end of 2017, there were 1,876 stores in the Other Europe segment, an increase from 1,818 stores in 2016.
The optical retail markets in the Other Europe segment are characterized by a lower level of maturity than the G4 segment, particularly in Eastern Europe.
GrandVision has been developing growth opportunities in this segment by gaining scale in these markets through the expansion of its existing store base, as well as through acquisitions.
In the Other Europe segment, revenue increased by 9.4% at constant exchange rates to €990 million in FY17 (FY16: €907 million) with organic and comparable growth of 4.1% and 3.3%, respectively. Revenue and comparable growth was achieved across all businesses: Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe. Acquisitions, primarily Visilab in Switzerland, contributed 5.4% to revenue growth.
Adjusted EBITDA in the Other Europe segment increased by 14.0% to €157 million in FY17 (FY16: €138 million), driven by organic growth of 6.1% and a positive contribution from acquisitions of 8.0%. The adjusted EBITDA margin increased by 62 bps to 15.9% reflecting positive organic growth during the year as well as the margin accretive addition of the Visilab business.
In 2017, GrandVision increased its holding in Visilab, Switzerland, from 30% to 60%