The G4 segment includes GrandVision's four largest business units: (i) the Netherlands and Belgium; (ii) France, Luxembourg and Monaco; (iii) Germany and Austria; and (iv) the United Kingdom, Ireland including franchises in several Middle Eastern countries. The G4 business units manage retail banners with own and franchise stores across these countries. Within the segment, GrandVision has market leading positions in Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands, and number 2 or 3 positions in France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
As of the end of 2017, the G4 segment operated a network of 3,348 stores, an increase from 3,020 stores in 2016. Key banners in the G4 segment include Apollo Optik in Germany with 838 stores, Pearle in Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands with 650 stores, Générale d'Optique in France with 613 stores and Vision Express in the UK, Ireland and Middle East with 631 stores.
In the G4 segment, revenue increased by 2.1% at constant exchange rates to €1,981 million in FY17 (2016: €1,969 million) excluding a negative effect of 1.5% from a weaker British pound against the euro.
Of this 2.1%, organic growth contributed 1.4% and acquisitions, particularly Tesco Opticians in the UK, contributed 0.7%.
Comparable growth for the segment was flat against the previous year mainly due to the temporary weakness in the French market following the change to insurance reimbursements, which led to slightly negative comparable growth in France for the full year. The segment was also impacted by fewer selling days during the year, which led to a negative impact on comparable and revenue growth of 0.8%.
The total number of stores in the G4 segment increased by 328 to 3,348 (FY16: 3,020), including net openings of 100 stores across the region. New stores contributed almost 2% to revenue growth during the year.
Adjusted EBITDA in the G4 segment decreased by 0.1% at constant exchange rates to €418 million (FY16: €423 million). The adjusted EBITDA margin decreased by 33 bps to 21.1% in 2017 (FY16: 21.5%), driven by the lower comparable growth and therefore less operating leverage during the year.
EyeWish is one of GrandVision's leading brands in the Netherlands