GrandVision, the owner of opticians Vision Express, has been valued at around €5bn (£3.7bn) after floating on the Euronext stock exchange in Amsterdam.

The valuation came after shares in the retail group began trading slightly higher than their offer price of €20 (£14.80).

The float was initially planned for late last year but was postponed because of poor market conditions.

GrandVision owner HAL, an investment firm privately owned by Netherland’s Van der Vorm family, sold shares worth around 20% of the company.

Opticians appeal to investors because of the growth opportunities offered by an ageing population and the robustness of the bricks-and-mortar proposition, which is protected by the need for an optician to conduct eye tests in person.

GrandVision operates 33 fascias in 43 countries, and has 5,600 stores.

Last year it entered optical retail markets in China, Peru and Turkey and expanded its existing presence in the UK, Germany, Colombia and Italy through the acquisition of rivals.

GrandVision generated revenue of €2.6bn (£2bn) and adjusted EBITDA of €400m (£311.8m) in its full year 2013.

In the first nine months of 2014 it achieved revenue of €2.1bn (£1.6bn) and adjusted EBITDA of €343m (£267m).