More than 200 jobs should be eliminated at the Wrexham factory of Hoya Lens UK as the company plans to transfer later this year its mass production of semi-finished Eyas lenses to Hoya Corp.'s large factory in Thailand, where the group has already moved much of its Japanese manufacturing operations. About 75 percent of the prescription lenses sold by Hoya in the UK are already sourced abroad and changes implemented over the past 2 years in the group's international and European logistic systems should help smooth out the transition.

Globally, the group's vision care operations, which concern primarily its eyeglass lenses recorded a 3.0 percent sales increase to 24,284 million yen (e176.9m-$201.5m) in the 1st quarter ended June 30, thanks in part to the euro's appreciation against the yen. A 4.0 percent drop in Japan was offset by a 7.4 percent increase to 15,559 million yen (e113.3m-$129.5m) in foreign activities, which have come to represent 64.1 percent of total turnover in the sector. Sales of contact lenses and other health care products, which are mostly sold in Japan, rose by 8.2 percent to 6,898 million yen (e50.2m-$57.2m).

The operating margin declined to 14.8 percent in vision care from 16.8 percent in the year-ago period, but it increased to 21.9 percent in health care. Including other operations, Hoya improved the operating margin from 20.6 to 22.7 percent. The group recorded a 4.4 percent consolidated sales increase in the quarter to 63.9 billion yen (e465.4m-$530.1m) generating a 42.6 percent boost in net income to 9,795 million yen (e71.3m-$81.3m). A 17.9 percent increase in net profit is anticipated for the whole 1st half.