The operating margin of Hoya's vision care segment increased to 16.8 percent in the 1st quarter ended June 30, up from 15.4 percent a higher ago, while its turnover increased by only 2.3 percent to 23,573 million yen (e201m-$200m). Its health care segment, which includes contact lenses and hearing aids, reached a 16.5 percent operating margin on 17.8 percent higher sales of 6,373 million yen (e54m-$54m). However, the Japanese group suffered an 8 percent decline in total net income to 6,868 million yen (e58.6m-$58.2m) as total net sales rose by only 1.5 percent to 61,242 million yen (e522m-$519m).
Hoya's sales of eyeglass lenses in Japan declined in a flat market because of price decreases triggered by low-priced imports of unifocal products from other parts of Asia. Hoya's lab business in the USA was steady, but total foreign sales of optical lenses grew because of the group's focus on high value-added products. The further decline of the yen helped to boost foreign revenues from 54.7 to 62.3 percent of the total turnover in the vision care sector.
In the health care sector, contact lens sales were spurred by the expansion of Hoya's E-System, which provides compensation if lenses are damaged or lost or if the refraction index changes. Sales of intraocular lenses rose sharply, but sales of hearing aids were down. Increases are expected in overall sales and profits for the 2nd quarter and the full year.