In its latest quarterly report, which came out today, Hoya Corporation stated that it wants to raise its global market share in eyeglass lenses from the present rate of 17 percent to 20 percent over the medium term, mainly by gaining market share in the Americas and the Asia-Pacific regions.

Hoya will probably continue to concentrate on the domestic Japanese market in the area of contact lenses. It plans to roll out 20 new contact lens stores annually and to carry out acquisitions in order to improve its presence in certain regions of the country.

The company reported increases of 4 percent in sales of eyeglass lenses and 9 percent in sales of contact lenses on a comparable basis for the fourth quarter of its financial year, ended on March 31. Sales increased in all regions, but Hoya mentioned that price declines in Europe were a concern, despite stable market conditions.

Sales went up by 4.4 percent to 96.3 billion yen (€779.5m-$872.3m) in the Life Care segment, which includes Hoya Vision Care, but the operating margin fell by 0.9 percentage points to 18.8 percent. On a constant-currency basis, segment sales rose by 6.1 percent and operating earnings were flat.

Lower growth was recorded in the Healthcare sub-segment, which includes eyeglass lenses and contact lenses. Here, sales increased by only 2.9 percent to ¥72.0 billion (€582.9m-$652.1m), with an increase of 4.2 percent in local currencies.

The management noted that the weight of the Life Care segment in the company's results has increased to 65 percent of Hoya's total revenues, up from 46 percent ten years ago, thanks in part to acquisitions. It also mentioned that the share of overall sales coming from outside Japan has risen from 62 percent to 71 percent, but the company is still in the process of building up a competitive management structure in emerging markets and other regions. It will encourage more diversity in terms of gender, nationality and race.

The total revenues of Hoya Corporation rose by 5.6 percent to ¥141.5 billion (€1.1bn-$1.3bn) during the latest quarter, with a growth of 6.8 percent in local currencies. The operating profit grew by 2.0 percent to ¥35.1 billion (€284.1m-$317.9m) and net earnings jumped by 50 percent to ¥29.2 billion (€236.4m-$264.5m).

For the full financial year ended on March 31, Hoya's consolidated net profit went up by 22.9 percent to ¥122.1 billion (€988.5m-$1,105.8m) on 30.2 percent higher revenues of ¥565.8 billion (€4.6bn-$5.1bn). Sales in the Life Care segment rose by 20.5 percent to ¥373.4 billion (€3.0bnm-$3.4bn), and the operating margin improved by 1.9 percentage points to 19.9 percent.