Diethart Reichardt, a German executive who has spent 24 years with Allergan, has been appointed to the new position of president of Ocular Sciences Europe, with responsibility over all its sales subsidiaries in Europe and distributors in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The appointment follows OSI's acquisition of Essilor's contact lens operations early last year. His final base of operations has not yet been determined.

A team of old and new managers will report to Reichardt. The newest addition is Roberto Palagi, a former executive of Wesley Jessen who has been appointed as manager of the group's new Italian subsidiary, based in Milan. David Newlove, the British executive who first developed OSI's European business, will also report to Reichardt, holding responsibilities for direct operations in the UK and Hungary and for distributors throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Reichardt's team also includes Claude Darnault, who is in charge of France and Switzerland, Werner Graetsch for Germany and Ton Schmid for Holland.

Reichardt was most recently vice president of ChromaVision Medical Systems, a diagnostic-imaging firm focused on oncology, and managing director of ChromaVision International, where he led its entry into Europe. At Allergan, his latest job was corporate vice president of its optical/consumer/OTC business, where he was mainly responsible for strategic planning, marketing, business and product development. He repositioned the business successfully, raising sales by 30 percent. Among other previous functions, Reichardt led market research, marketing and business development for Allergan's contact lens and lens care products in Europe.

In addition to the acquisition of its sales operations in Japan and the investment in Italy, OSI recently opened a sales office in Mexico City as well as in Miami for the Central and Latin American markets, and in Hong Kong for the local market and mainland China. The company's total sales outside the USA grew by 11 percent to $27.6 million in the 1st quarter ended March 31, or by 24 percent without including the Essilor acquisition. Sales in the USA rose by 11 percent to $33.2 million, or by 6 percent on an organic basis. Total revenues were up 21 percent to $60.8 million, generating net income of $10,093,000, or 24 percent more than a year ago on a pro forma basis.

The launch of new disposable Toric lenses in the USA and Canada has been so successful that OSI has decided to launch them also in Europe last month, ahead of schedule. Deliveries of its innovative line of Biomedics Colors tinted lenses began in the USA in April and they should start in Europe in the 4th quarter. The first new-generation UK manufacturing line for daily disposable lenses is achieving its targets, and a second line should start up in June.