Hoya Corp. booked a 7 percent increase in sales of eyeglass lenses in the second quarter of its financial year, ended on Sept. 30, but they were only up by 3 percent on a comparable basis. Sales of contact lenses went up by 6 percent, but they were still mainly restricted to the Japanese market.
The Japanese company's sales of ophthalmic lenses were driven by a double-digit increase in the U.S., pushed by a major deal signed in the country during the first quarter, the management explained. It added that the integration of Performance Optics into the business is almost complete, contributing to a major expansion in profitability.
Eyeglasses are part of Hoya's Life Care segment, whose operating margin rose by 2.8 percentage points in the quarter to 20.3 percent on 4 percent higher revenues of 91.9 billion yen (€714.7m-$815.5m). Foreign currencies had a negative impact on sales of only 0.8 percentage points.
Together, eyeglass lenses and contact lenses, which constitute the healthcare sub-segment of this division, experienced a 5 percent sales increase to ¥70.6 billion (€549.0m-$626.5m), with a rise of 6 percent in constant currencies.
The management said it was intent on stabilizing the 20 percent profit margin achieved in the Life Care sector, while accelerating the growth of the eyeglass lens business by generating synergies through mergers and acquisitions. A step in this direction was the recent acquisition by its Hoya Surgical Optics unit, which specializes in intraocular lenses, of two related equipment companies, Mid Labs in the U.S. and Fritz Ruck in Germany.
The Hoya group's total revenues grew by 5 percent to ¥142.0 billion (€1.1bn-$1.3bn) in the quarter, with hardly any impact from changes in foreign currency exchange rates. Operating earnings rose by 14 percent to ¥38.2 billion (€297.1m-$339.0m) and net profit ended up 17 percent higher at a record quarterly level of ¥31.2 billion (€242.6m-$276.0m).