Essilor International reports a 9.7 percent sales increase to e567.8 million for the 1st quarter, with a 6.7 percent growth on a comparable basis. In fact, currency exchange rate changes had a positive impact of 2.3 percentage points on the final tally, while changes in the scope of consolidation added 0.6 percentage points. The growth in the 1st quarter was aided by the launch of Transitions' new Next Generation series of photochromic lenses. The group is confident of maintaining sales increases at level of 5-6 percent this year, excluding possible acquisitions.