Without giving specific figures, Hoya Corp. said its revenues from eyeglass lenses declined in terms of yen during the fourth quarter of its financial year, ended March 31, due to the strength of the yen against the U.S. dollar, the euro and the Thai baht during the period. In local currencies, sales of these products increased at a rate close to a mid-single digit.
On a currency-neutral basis, ophthalmic lens sales rose at a mid-single-digit rate in Europe and at a double-digit rate in the U.S. Sales were off in Asia, due in part to the softening economy in China. Most of the decline was attributed to internal processes, which Hoya is modifying. Average prices were said to be on the low side in the region, affecting the company's relatively high local profitability.
Revenues from contact lenses rose at nearly a double-digit rate due to recent small acquisitions and the opening of new Eyecity stores in Tokyo and elsewhere. Combined sales of eyeglass lenses and contact lenses rose by 0.7 percent to 60.7 billion yen (€490.0m-$545.4m) in the quarter, and they were up by 4.7 percent in local currencies.
Hoya's management said it didn't reach the expected target for profitability in the segment because the operating rate of its plant in the Philippines was not sufficiently high. The company is trying to catch up, belatedly, by securing orders from major chains in the U.S.
Adding the revenues from intraocular lenses, endoscopes and other health-related products, Hoya reached a turnover of ¥80.94 billion (€653.4m-$727.4m) in its Life Care segment, 0.1 percent below the level of the year-ago period. The division's pre-tax operating margin fell to 17.4 percent from 19.6 percent.
Hoya's total revenues fell by 4.5 percent in the quarter to ¥121.7 billion (€982.5m-$1,093.9m), with a 1.3 percent drop on a constant-currency basis. About one percentage point of the decline was attributed to the recent earthquake in Kumamoto, which affected the production of a small Hoya factory that produces photomasks for large liquid crystal displays.
The group's pre-tax earnings fell by 8.5 percent to ¥23.1 billion (€186.5m-$207.7m), but half of the decline was due to foreign exchange currencies. Net earnings were almost flat at ¥20 billion (€161.5m-$179.8m), but down by 2.0 percent excluding extraordinary items.
For the full financial year, total revenues increased by 3.2 percent to ¥505.7 billion (€4,408.5m-$4,547.0m), delivering a 0.4 percent increase in net income to ¥93.2 billion (€752.7m-$838.0m). Life Care revenues increased by 5.2 percent to ¥322.7 billion (€2,606.6m-$2,901.9m) during the year, but the pre-tax operating margin on these activities declined to 18.3 percent from 18.7 percent.