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Essilor predicts relatively flat profits ahead of Luxottica deal

PARIS, March 1 (Reuters) - Essilor, the world's largest maker of ophthalmic lenses, predicted higher revenues this year as it prepares to merge with Italy's Luxottica , but warned of slow growth regarding its core margins.

The French company said it targeted revenue growth at constant currencies and perimeters of around 4 percent.

The contribution from operations, a figure that strips out the cost of sales and operating expenses, is expected at a minimum of 18.3 percent of revenue compared to a reported figure of 18.2 percent in 2017.

Essilor and Luxottica announced a 48 billion euros ($58.53 billion) merger last year to create a global eyewear powerhouse with annual revenues of more than 15 billion euros.

The deal is expected to close during the first half of 2018.

($1 = 0.8201 euros) (Reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)