The company reports net earnings of $8.8 million for the 1st quarter ended March 30, as compared to a loss of $1 million in the same period a year ago, due only in part to disposals and to certain benefits from an accounting change. On a comparable basis, net earnings from continuing operations still marked an improvement to $13.1 million from $6.2 million, with higher extraordinary restructuring charges of $23.5 million partly offsetting higher capital gains from the sale of shares in Charles River Laboratories. Operating income improved by 40 percent on a comparable basis.

Total revenues increased by 3 percent in dollars and by 5 percent in local currencies, reaching $402.6 million, with European sales up 3 percent in local currencies. Sales of contact lenses rose by 8 percent in dollars and by 11 percent at constant exchange rates, with double-digit growth for PureVision, SoftLens66 Toric and other planned replacement and disposable products.

Sales of lens care products rose by 3 percent in reported dollars and by 5 percent in constant dollars, despite modest declines in Europe. Cataract surgery products showed declines of 7 percent in dollars and 6 percent in local currencies, with lower sales in all the regions. Revenues from refractive surgery dropped by 9 percent in actual dollars and by 8 percent in constant dollars, mostly due to the soft US economy.