The vision care segment remains one of the healthiest ones within Hoya Corp., but the big Japanese group is anticipating drops of 5.7 percent in operating income and 4.1 percent in net income because of the difficult economic situation in Japan and in some other markets and an expected decrease in the revenues and profitability of its large electro-optics segment.

In the 3rd quarter ended last Dec. 31, Hoya’s operating margins in electro-optics fell to 35.1 percent of sales from 36.6 percent in the year-ago period. Instead, its operating margin in vision care increased to 17.1 percent from 16.8 percent, although sales growth declined to a rate of only 5.9 percent. In the health care segment, which comprises contact lenses and intraocular devices, sales increased by 12.8 percent and the operating margin grew to 22.7 percent from 20.5 percent.

Vision care sales reached 31.56 billion yen (€196.3m-$297.8m) in the quarter. Domestic sales dropped by 3.4 percent, while sales in other markets rose by 9.6 percent and came to represent 71.9 percent of all the revenues in the segment. Health care segment revenues reached 11.5 billion yen (€71.7m-$108.8m), but the overseas portion remained marginal at 3.9 percent of the total.

Hoya says it realized growth in the high-price bracket of the vision care market in Japan, and continued to raise its sales in the Asia-Pacific region, in Europe and North America for new progressive lenses, high-refraction lenses and other value-added products. The overall sales volume went up in spite of tough competition due to a price offensive in low-end lenses.

The group’s total sales rose by 48.6 percent in the quarter to 147.05 billion yen (€917.5m-$1.39bn) largely because of the first-time consolidation of Pentax. Operating income rose by only 1.1 percent and net profit increased by 13.2 percent to 22.60 billion yen (€141m-$214m). Pentax contributed revenues of 48.11 billion yen (€298.3m-$452.6m) during the 3-month period, but its operating margin was only 3.1 percent. Hoya spent 94.78 billion yen (€587.7m-$891.6m) to buy Pentax and will amortize its goodwill of 53.42 billion yen (€331.2m-$502.5m) over a 10-year period.
For the nine months ended Dec. 31, the group reports a 5.7 percent drop in net profit to 60.7 billion yen (€376.4m-$571.1m) on 19.0 percent higher overall sales of 345.8 billion yen (€2.14bn-$3.25bn). Operating income dropped by 6.7 percent to margin of 22.3 percent of sales.

Vision care revenues went up by 10.0 percent to 95.38 billion yen (€591.4m-$897.3m) in the nine months, with a 4.1 percent drop in Japan and a 16.3 percent increase elsewhere, but the segment’s operating margin declined to 17.1 percent from 17.8 percent in the corresponding period of the previous financial year.