The quarterly report of Hoya Corp. indicates that its eyeglass business expanded in the first three months of its current financial year, ended on June 30, but all the growth took place outside Japan. This eyeglass business is on a declining trend in Japan, the company said, due to the shrinking population of the country, compounded by higher sales taxes charged since April 2014.
Overseas, in contrast, the report mentions “successful policies” to win over new customers and to enter new markets, leading to higher volumes of sold lenses. Furthermore, sales of Seiko Optical Products, which became a consolidated subsidiary in March 2014, are increasing steadily.
Due in part to the reduced value of the Japanese yen, sales of eyeglass sales showed a major increase in the quarter as compared to the corresponding period a year ago. Eyeglass lenses represent a large portion of Hoya's Life Care business unit, whose total sales rose by 13.3 percent to 79.83 billion yen (€587.5m-$640.7m) in the quarter. Its pre-tax operating margin increased to 18.2 percent from 16.6 percent in the year-ago period.
The segment also includes Hoya's contact lens business, which is still limited to Japan to a large extent, and sales of intraocular devices, endoscopes and other medical devices. The management of the group usually adds more information on the segment, particularly in terms of local currencies, in comments made to financial analysts, but the English translation was not yet available at the time of going to press.
The quarterly report says that Hoya's sales of contact lenses went up by a substantial margin in the latest period as a result of strengthened promotional activities, the opening of new Eyecity stores and a rebound from the April-June 2014 period, when many customers stopped contact lenses following the increase in the sales tax.
Information Technology and other business segments developed positively for Hoya in the quarter. The company ended up with an 11.6 percent increase in total revenues to ¥126.2 billion (€928.8m-$1,012.8m), generating a higher net profit margin of 18.5 percent, compared with 15.7 percent in the first quarter of 2014.