CooperVision experienced its strongest growth in 11 quarters in the three months ended Oct. 31, which marked the fourth quarter of Cooper Companies' financial year. CVI grew by 10 percent to $411.7 million in the quarter, up by 11 percent in constant currencies, outperforming again the market, particularly in Europe and the U.S.

In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), CVI enjoyed a currency-neutral increase of 12 percent, led by Biofinity and one-day silicon hydrogel lenses. Its sales grew by 8 percent in the Americas and by 13 percent in Asia-Pacific.

The growth was driven by an accelerated 53 percent increase for MyDay, the company's one-day silicon hydrogel lens, and by the Biofinity range of silicon hydrogel products. Two-week and monthly silicon hydrogel lenses showed combined growth of 14 percent.

Overall, silicon hydrogel lenses experienced currency-neutral growth of 21 percent, representing 62 percent of CVI's sales. Toric and single-use spheres recorded the strongest growth in the quarter, up respectively by 14 and 16 percent in constant currencies. Multi-focals went up by 10 percent.

Positive currency effects and an improved product mix helped to push CVI's gross margin up to 56 percent from 54 percent in the same period a year ago. The operating margin improved by 0.5 percentage points to 64.8 percent.

Adding the results of the Cooper Surgical segment, Cooper Companies booked a strong 14 percent sales increase to $518.7 million in the quarter, with growth of 10 percent excluding acquisitions and currency adjustments. The operating margin went up to 14 percent from 9 percent a year ago.

In the full financial year ended Sept. 30, CVI's sales rose by 6 percent to $1,577 million, with growth of 7.5 percent in local currencies. The annual revenues of the group were up by 9.4 percent to $1,966.8 million, including a 7.3 percent rise on a comparable basis. The gross margin was stable at 60 percent of sales, but the operating margin increased to 16 percent from 13 percent in the prior year. Net earnings jumped to $273.9 million from $203.5 million.

The management said the group is entering the new financial year with strong momentum. It expects Cooper Companies to deliver a total turnover of between $2,090 million and $2,130 million in the current fiscal year, with CVI growing by between 6 and 8 percent in constant currencies in a market that should return within the next five years to an annual growth rate of 4 to 5 percent or more.

According to CVI, the global soft contact lens market rose by only 3 percent to $7.23 billion in the 12 months ended last Sept. 30, with increases of 1 percent in the Americas, 6 percent in EMEA and 4 percent in Asia-Pacific.

The slow progress in the Americas is attributed by the company to the launch of many new products by Johnson & Johnson in the previous year.

Comparatively, CVI raised its sales by 8 percent over the same period, rising by 5 percent in the Americas, 8 percent in EMEA and 14 percent in Asia-Pacific.