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Vancouver's KITS Eyecare's sales rise, stock jumps

CEO Roger Hardy says his company is taking revenue from incumbents
KITS operates one bricks-and-mortar store, on Cornwall Avenue at Yew Street at a site that doubles as a coffee shop

Vancouver-based retailer KITS Eyecare Ltd. (TSX:KITS) saw its share price jump more than 10 per cent today after the company released a partial financial update. 

KITS' revenue in the three months that ended June 30 increased to "approximately $30 million," which would have been about 38 per cent more than the $21.77 million that the company generated in the same quarter one year ago, according to the company. 

KITS is not set to release its full earnings for the quarter until August. 

Its partial update also included news that it finished the quarter with $19.8 million in cash on hand. That is up from the $18.891 million in cash on hand in the same quarter last year. 

"Repeat customers again contributed approximately 60 per cent of revenue," KITS said in a statement. 

CEO Roger Hardy praised his team on LinkedIn, and added that there is "so much value being created by this team as they take share from incumbants. (sic)"

Hardy did not mention by name cross-town rival Clearly, which on June 30 lost its CEO, Arnaud Bussieres, who said on LinkedIn that he planned to launch an "entrepreneurial adventure."

BIV has sent Clearly owner EssilorLuxottica multiple emails asking who is taking over at Clearly but has received no response. The company's website was inactive when Bussieres announced his departure but has since returned to normal operations. 

Hardy founded Clearly in 2000, brought in other investors and sold the company to what was then Essilor International for $430 million in 2014. He and his family at the time owned about 20 per cent of the company's shares. He told BIV that the transaction also included a three-year non-compete clause.

"Our spectacular, organic growth continued through Q2 as we report another record quarter of top-line growth, while maintaining a healthy and growing balance sheet," Hardy said in today's news release.

"Growth continues to be fueled by word-of-mouth, and the best retention rates in the category. We continue to see a secular trend of vision corrected customers moving online for all vision related products, and demand for our KITS glasses and contact lenses remains strong."

KITS' share price closed at $5.24 today, up about 97 per cent year-to-date. Its share price remains about nine per cent below where it was trading two years ago. 

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