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New Look Eyewear Inc. Announces Record Revenues for the Fourth Quarter and the Year Ended December 28 of 2013 and its Quarterly Dividend

MONTREAL, QUEBEC -- (Marketwired) -- 03/12/14 -- New Look Eyewear Inc. (TSX:BCI) ("New Look") announced today that revenues for the fourth quarter ended December 28, 2013 reached a record of $25.6 million, an increase of 22.5% over the corresponding period of last year. This increase was due to a comparable store increase of 3.5%, increasing revenues generated by six new stores opened or acquired over the past 24 months and the acquisition of the assets and business of Vogue Optical Inc. on December 2nd, 2013. EBITDA(1) for the fourth quarter was $3.8 million, compared to $5.0 million last year, a decline of $1.2 million which is mainly attributable to the acquisition costs of $0.9 million related to the acquisition of Vogue Optical and other developments. Consequently, net earnings attributable to shareholders for the quarter were $1,321,000 ($0.11 per share(2)) compared to $2,160,000 last year ($0.21 per share(2)). Fourth quarter operating cash flows (before changes in working capital items) amounted to $3.9 million compared to $4.6 million last year.

For the full 2013 fiscal year, revenues increased by 10.5% to a record high amount of $91.1 million compared to $82.3 million last year, 3.0% being attributable to comparable stores while the balance was generated by the six new stores opened or acquired over the past 24 months and by the Vogue Optical acquisition. EBITDA for the year was $15.0 million compared to $ 15.3 million last year. The EBITDA was impacted by $1.1 million of expenses incurred during the year with respect to the acquisition of Vogue Optical and other smaller acquisitions. But for these expenses, EBITDA for the year would have been $ 16.1 million, a 4.5% increase over last year. Net earnings attributable to shareholders were $6.5 million, equal to last year. Net earnings per share, which were impacted by the additional shares issued in the fourth quarter to finance a portion of the Vogue Optical acquisition, were $0.60 per share vis-a-vis $0.63 per share last year.

More details on the financial performance of the fourth quarter and the fiscal year are available in the attachments.

Martial Gagne, the President of New Look, commented: "This was a transitional quarter and year for New Look, particularly on the strategic growth front with the acquisition of Vogue Optical. At the same time, the core New Look business continued to operate well with comparable store sales growth of 3.5% for the quarter and 3% for the full year 2013. Overall sales hit a record of $91 million with the acquisition of Vogue in December and the acquisition of optical practices and the opening of new stores earlier in the year. This has allowed New Look to clearly establish itself as the preeminent fully integrated optical retailer in Quebec, Atlantic Provinces and Eastern Ontario".

Antoine Amiel, the Vice-Chairman of New Look, stated that: "A heavy emphasis on strategic development will continue into and through 2014 and for the years to come. New Look now has the leading banners in the Quebec and Atlantic Canada markets with a total network of 140 stores. In 2014, we will seek to explore and maximize efficiencies in these markets as well as to aggressively seek to grow market share profitably in these markets and the rest of Canada".

Following the approval of the results of the fourth quarter of 2013 and taking into account the fiscal year performance, the Board of Directors of New Look approved the payment of a dividend of $0.15 per Class A common shares payable on March 31st, 2014 to the shareholders of record as of March 21st, 2014. The dividend qualifies as "eligible dividend", i.e. a dividend entitling shareholders who are Canadian resident individuals to a higher dividend tax credit.

Attachments

--  Table A - Highlights 
--  Table B - Consolidated statement of earnings (unaudited) 
--  Table C - Reconciliation of net earnings to EBITDA 

(1)  See Table C attached for a definition of EBITDA with a reconciliation  
     of net earnings to EBITDA.                                             
(2)  All per share amounts are calculated on a diluted basis.               

As of December 28, 2013, New Look had 12,637,414 Class A common shares issued and outstanding. New Look is a leader in the eye care industry in Eastern Canada having a network of 140 corporate stores mainly under the New Look and Vogue Optical banners and laboratory facilities using state-of-the-art technologies.

All statements other than statements of historical fact contained in this press release are forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding the future financial position, business strategy, projected costs and plans and objectives of, or involving New Look. Readers can identify many of these statements by looking for words such as "believe", "expects", "will", "intends", "projects", "anticipates", "estimates", "plans", "may", "would" or similar words or the negative thereof. There can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or expectations upon which these forward-looking statements are based will be achieved. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Although management of New Look believes that the expectations represented in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Some of the factors which could affect future results and could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements contained herein include: pending and proposed legislative or regulatory developments, competition from established competitors and new market entrants, technological change, interest rate fluctuations, general economic conditions, acceptance and demand for new products and services, and fluctuations in operating results, as well as other risks included in New Look's current Annual Information Form (AIF) which can be found at www.sedar.com. The forward-looking statements included in this press release are made as of the date hereof, and New Look undertakes no obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect new information, subsequent events or otherwise, except as provided by law.

For additional information please see our Web site www.newlook.ca.

TABLE A

                            NEW LOOK EYEWEAR INC.                           
                                 Highlights                                 
        for the fourth quarter and the year ended December 28, 2013         
              with comparative annual figures for 2012 and 2011             
                                                                            
      Unaudited - In thousands of Canadian dollars, except per share amounts
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                Fourth Quarter                              
                                   (unaudited)                         Year 
                               2013       2012     2013      2012      2011 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Revenues                    $25,596    $20,888  $90,971   $82,296   $80,190 
  Variance                     22.5%               10.5%      2.6%          
  Comparable stores                                                         
   variance                     3.5%                3.0%     (1.7%)         
EBITDA                       $3,811     $4,959  $15,004   $15,343   $13,280 
  Variance                    (23.1%)              (2.2%)    15.5%          
  % of revenues                14.9%      23.7%    16.5%     18.6%     16.6%
Net earnings attributable                                                   
 to shareholders             $1,321     $2,160   $6,449    $6,478    $6,024 
  Variance                    (38.8%)              (0.4%)     7.5%          
Net earnings per share                                                      
  Basic                       $0.12      $0.21    $0.61     $0.64     $0.60 
  Diluted                     $0.11      $0.21    $0.60     $0.64     $0.60 
Cash flows from operating                                                   
 activities, before changes                                                 
 in working capital items    $3,800     $4,603  $14,812   $14,769   $13,009 
  Variance                    (17.4%)               0.3%     13.5%          
  Per share (diluted)         $0.33      $0.44    $1.38     $1.43     $1.28 
Cash dividend per share       $0.15      $0.15    $0.60     $0.60     $0.60 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

TABLE B

                            NEW LOOK EYEWEAR INC.                           
                     Consolidated Statement of Earnings                     
                    for the quarters and the years ended                    
                   December 28, 2013 and December 29, 2012                  
                                                                            
      Unaudited - In thousands of Canadian dollars, except per share amounts
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Fourth Quarter                         
                                        (unaudited)                     Year
                                   2013        2012         2013        2012
                                      $           $            $           $
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Revenues                         25,596      20,888       90,971      82,296
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Materials consumed, net of                                                  
 changes in inventory             5,126       4,205       19,557      18,254
Employee remuneration                                                       
 expense                          8,572       6,479       28,602      25,533
Other operating expenses          8,141       5,262       27,978      23,412
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Earnings before                                                             
 depreciation, amortization,                                                
 impairment of non-financial                                                
 assets and financial                                                       
 expenses                         3,757       4,942       14,834      15,097
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Depreciation, amortization                                                  
 and impairment of non-                                                     
 financial assets                 1,517       1,430        5,057       4,960
Financial expenses, net of                                                  
 interest revenues                  399         136          703         432
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Earnings before income taxes      1,841       3,376        9,074       9,705
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Income taxes                                                                
  Current                           (20)        237            9         231
  Deferred                          555         983        2,596       2,978
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total income taxes                  535       1,220        2,605       3,209
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Net earnings and                                                            
 comprehensive income             1,306       2,156        6,469       6,496
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Net earnings and                                                            
 comprehensive income                                                       
 attributed to:                                                             
  Non-controlling interest          (16)         (4)          19          18
  Shareholders of New Look        1,321       2,160        6,449       6,478
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  1,305       2,156        6,468       6,496
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Net earnings per share                                                      
  Basic                            0.12        0.21         0.61        0.64
  Diluted                          0.11        0.21         0.60        0.63
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

TABLE C

                            NEW LOOK EYEWEAR INC.                           
                  Reconciliation of net earnings and EBITDA                 
                    for the quarters and the years ended                    
                   December 28, 2013 and December 29, 2012                  

                                                                            
                                Unaudited - In thousands of Canadian dollars
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Fourth Quarter                    Year 
                                  2013         2012       2013         2012 
                                     $            $          $            $ 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Net earnings                     1,306        2,156      6,469        6,496 
Depreciation, amortization                                                  
 and impairment of non-                                                     
 financial assets                1,517        1,430      5,057        4,960 
Financial expenses                 399          136        703          432 
Equity-based compensation           28           33        168          216 
Net loss (gain) from changes                                                
 in fair value of foreign                                                   
 exchange contracts                 26          (16)         2           30 
Income taxes                       535        1,220      2,605        3,209 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
EBITDA                           3,811        4,959     15,004       15,343 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Variance in $                 (1,148)       1,066       (339)       2,063 
  Variance in %                  (23.1%)                  (2.2%)            
  % of revenues                   14.9%        23.7%      16.5%        18.6%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

EBITDA refers to consolidated earnings before financial expenses, net of interest revenues, income taxes, depreciation, amortization and impairment of non-financial assets. It excludes any gain or loss from changes in fair value of foreign exchange contracts, and equity-based compensation. EBITDA is not a recognized measure under IFRS and may not be comparable to similar measures used by other entities. The Company believes that EBITDA is a useful financial metric as it assists in determining the ability to generate cash from operations. Investors should be cautioned that EBITDA should not be construed as an alternative to net earnings or cash flows as determined under IFRS.

Contacts:
Lise Melanson
(514) 877-4299, ext. 2234
www.newlook.ca

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