Bausch & Lomb says it plans to eliminate 100 manufacturing jobs in its contact lens operations by the end of this year, in addition to the 600 announced last December. The group also plans to eliminate about 450 more non-manufacturing jobs over the next few months, primarily in its own North American facilities, following the designation last month of regional commercial managers who now supervise all the segments of the group's activities in certain territories, and the centralization of product development and supply functions. These measures will generate charges of $30-35 million in the 4th quarter, but they should result in annual cost savings of £20-30 million, according to the management.
As part of the reorganization, Hakan Edstrom, a Swedish executive who previously headed up the group's global surgical operations, is now in charge of the American region for the vision care, surgical and pharmaceutical businesses. John Loughlin is his counterpart in Asia. In Europe, Mark Sieczkarek continues to supervise all vision care and surgical operations. European pharmaceutical operations have been placed under the responsibility of Alan Farnsworth, former manager of business development, with the essential task of integrating the group's Dr. Mann operation in Germany with Groupe Chauvin, the French-based laboratories acquired in August.
The acquisition of Chauvin caused some extraordinary charges that weighted on Bausch's results for the 3rd quarter ended Sept. 23, including a $23.8 million provision, which was deducted from the purchase price, for the value of R&D projects presently under way at Chauvin. Excluding all kinds of extraordinary items in both years, Bausch had net earnings of $37.8 million in the quarter, as compared to $37.3 million in the year ago period. For the 9-month period through Sept. 23, net income from continuing operations was up 33 percent to $101.8 million.
Revenues from continuing operations declined by 1 percent in the 3rd quarter to $440.9 million, but they increased by 2 percent on a constant dollar basis. Vision care sales declined by 2 percent and were flat in local currencies. Sales of contact lenses rose by 6 percent, although planned replacement and disposable lenses registered double-digit growth. Together, lens care and vision accessories recorded an 8 percent sales fall.
The acquisition of Chauvin and sharply higher sales of Lotemax and Airex anti-inflammatory drops didn't prevent an 8 percent drop in sales of pharmaceuticals, including a 1 percent decline in constant dollars. Revenues in the surgical segment improved by 4 percent in dollars and by 9 percent in local currencies, thanks to continued double-digit growth in refractive surgery, but they would have risen more strongly if some of the lasers in ordered in the 3rd quarter from outside the USA had been installed earlier.