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New Look Eyewear Inc. Announces Record Revenues for the First Quarter of 2014 and its Quarterly Dividend

MONTREAL, QUEBEC -- (Marketwired) -- 05/08/14 -- New Look Eyewear Inc. (TSX:BCI) ("New Look") today announced record revenues of $31.8 million for the first quarter ended March 29, 2014, an increase of 57% over last year, while EBITDA(1) reached $5 million, an increase of 63% over last year. These increases are principally attributable to the addition of Vogue's 65 stores last December. The acquisition of two independent practices, the opening of three stores, and the conclusion of two business arrangements with affiliates, all in 2013, also contributed to the increase in revenues and EBITDA. Comparable store(2) sales orders were up 0.7% year over year.

Net earnings attributable to shareholders decreased by $305,000 to $1 million, as a consequence of additional depreciation, amortization, equity-based compensation, and financial expenses related to the Vogue acquisition including an expense of $282,000 as change in fair value of an interest rate swap. As a consequence of this and also the issuance of 2.2 million shares in 2013 to finance the acquisition, net earnings per share(3) decreased from $0.12 to $0.08. First quarter operating cash flows (before changes in working capital) increased substantially to $4.8 million, or $0.37 per share (3) compared to $0.28 last year.

More details on the financial performance of the first quarter are available in the attachments.

Martial Gagne, the President of New Look, commented: "We are pleased with the first quarter results achieved in spite of very adverse weather conditions. During the quarter, we completed the new layout of our manufacturing and distribution premises in St. Laurent, Quebec doubling our processing capacities thereby positioning the company for further growth. The addition of Vogue Optical creates a dynamic environment where both management teams are working at identifying areas of improvement for the overall operations and profitability."

Antoine Amiel, the Vice-Chairman of New Look, stated that: "During the first quarter, Vogue's integration progressed according to plans with sharing of best practices and leveraging of the combined entities' purchasing power. New Look opened a new store in Chambly (QC) to bring the group's total to 141. We expect other development initiatives to materialize in the coming quarters as we endeavour to grow profitably in our existing markets and in the rest of Canada.

Following the approval of the results of the first quarter of 2014 and taking into account the solid cash inflows from operations in the quarter, the Board of Directors of New Look approved the payment of a dividend of $0.15 per Class A common shares payable on June 30th, 2014 to the shareholders of record as of June 20th, 2014. The dividend qualifies as "eligible dividend", i.e. a dividend entitling shareholders who are Canadian resident individuals to a higher dividend tax credit.

For the first time, shareholders residing in Canada will be allowed to elect to re-invest their cash dividends into New Look shares, without any brokerage commissions, fees and transaction costs through the dividend reinvestment plan announced a month ago. Until any further announcement, shares will be issued from treasury at 95% of the weighted average trading price for the five days preceding the dividend payment date. Any shareholder wishing to benefit from this opportunity only has to make the election through his or her broker.

Subsequent to the end of the quarter, the Company received a proposal letter from the taxation authorities proposing to challenge certain tax attributes of its conversion from a trust to a corporation in March 2010. The Company is confident of the soundness of its position and will strongly defend its position during the administrative process as well as before the courts, if necessary. The eventual determination of these matters could take several years or more, and is not expected to impact the Company's operations and current development plans.

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)  Comparable stores are those opened before 2013 by New Look and Vogue   
     Optical                                                                
(3)  All per share amounts are calculated on a diluted basis.               

As of April 30, 2014, New Look had 12,690,414 Class A common shares issued and outstanding. New Look is a leader in the eye care industry in Eastern Canada having a network of 141 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 13-week periods ended March 29, 2014 and March 30, 2013      
                                                                            
      Unaudited - In thousands of Canadian dollars, except per share amounts
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             2014      2013 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Revenues                                                  $31,810   $20,298 
  Variance                                                     57%          
EBITDA                                                     $5,034    $3,084 
  Variance                                                     63%          
  % of revenues                                              15.8%     15.2%
Net earnings attributed to shareholders                    $1,003    $1,308 
  Variance                                                  (23.3%)         
Net earnings per share                                                      
  Basic                                                     $0.08     $0.13 
  Diluted                                                   $0.08     $0.12 
Cash flows from operating activities, before changes in                     
 working capital items                                     $4,828    $2,990 
  Per share (diluted)                                       $0.37     $0.28 
Cash dividend per share                                     $0.15     $0.15 
Variance in comparable stores sales orders(a)                 0.7%          
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
(a) Comparable stores are those opened before 2013 by New Look or Vogue     
    Optical.                                                                

TABLE B

                            NEW LOOK EYEWEAR INC.                           
                     Consolidated Statement of Earnings                     
       for the 13-week periods ended March 29, 2014 and March 30, 2013      
                                                                            
      Unaudited - In thousands of Canadian dollars, except per share amounts
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              2014      2013
                                                                            
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Revenues                                                    31,810    20,298
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Materials consumed, net of changes in inventory              6,947     4,404
Employee remuneration expense                               11,227     6,418
Other operating expenses                                     8,732     6,447
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Earnings before depreciation, amortization, impairment                      
 of non-financial assets and financial expenses              4,904     3,029
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Depreciation, amortization and impairment of non-                           
 financial assets                                            2,112     1,087
Financial expenses                                           1,261        90
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Earnings before income taxes                                 1,531     1,852
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Income taxes                                                                
  Current                                                       18          
  Deferred                                                     484       537
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total income taxes                                             502       537
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Net earnings and comprehensive income                        1,029     1,315
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Net earnings and comprehensive income attributed to:                        
  Non-controlling interest                                      26         7
  Shareholders of New Look                                   1,003     1,308
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             1,029     1,315
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Net earnings per share                                                      
  Basic                                                       0.08      0.13
  Diluted                                                     0.08      0.12
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

TABLE C

                            NEW LOOK EYEWEAR INC.                           
                  Reconciliation of net earnings to EBITDA                  
       for the 13-week periods ended March 29, 2014 and March 30, 2013      
                                                                            
                                Unaudited - In thousands of Canadian dollars
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             2014      2013 
                                                                $         $ 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Net earnings attributed to shareholders                     1,029     1,315 
Depreciation and amortization                               2,112     1,087 
Financial expenses                                          1,261        90 
Equity-based compensation                                     146        25 
Net loss (gain) from changes in fair value of foreign                       
 exchange contracts                                           (16)       30 
Income taxes                                                  502       537 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
EBITDA                                                      5,034     3,084 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Variance in $                                             1,950           
  Variance in %                                                63%          
  % of revenues                                              15.8%     15.2%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

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