Last September's acquisition of Buchmann in Belgium and last April's takeover of ORI in the USA, which were not consolidated before, helped to boost by 40.1 percent to 10,783 million yen (e108m-$99m) the foreign turnover of Hoya's vision care division in the first quarter ended June 30, representing for the first time more than half of total divisional sales. Vision care sales in Japan rose by only 3.7 percent to 10,167 million yen (e102m-$93m). Combined, domestic and overseas sales were up 19.7 percent to 20,950 million yen (e210m-$192m).

Even without Buchmann and ORI, which have expanded their own businesses since their takeover, Hoya's vision care sales rose in Europe and in the USA, both in local currencies and in yen. It's a major achievement, considering that the yen appreciated year-on-year by 12 percent against the US dollar and by 21.6 percent against the euro. Sales of special-order lenses grew strongly in Europe, following the expansion of the company's laboratories in Germany and Spain. Hoya's US lab in Connecticut commenced production.

Hoya's sales of disposable contact lenses, intra-ocular lenses and hearing aids grew by only 0.4 percent in the quarter to 5,015 million yen (e50m-$46m), including a 34.8 percent increase outside Japan to a still modest level of 31 million yen (e0.3m-$0.3m). Sales of contact lenses remained almost static, despite the introduction of bifocals.

At 25,966 million yen (e261m-$238m), total eye care sales represented 46.1 percent of Hoya's total turnover of 56,323 million yen (e565.7m-$516.4m) in the quarter, which increased by 15.2 percent from the year-ago period. The increase would have been much higher without theappreciation of the yen, considering that 40.5 percent of group sales are now generated outside Japan. The group's operating income rose by 22.5 percent to 9,884 million yen (e99.3m-$90.6m), although the vision care division's margins declined following the latest acquisitions. Net income grew by 29.1 percent to 6,233 million yen (e62.6m-$57.2m).