Seiko has laid out a new 3-year plan under which its optical products business should generate operating income of 1.4 billion yen (€8.6m-$11.5m) on sales of 32.0 billion yen (€166m-$263m) by the financial year ending March 31, 2009.

The Japanese company wants to achieve this target by responding to the polarization of the lens business with right products under the Seiko and Pentax brands, including the introduction of new high-refraction lenses. It will also seek to revitalize the Seiko brand in the frame business and to expand its licensed eyewear segment.

Three years ago Seiko had established a target of 1.7 billion yen in operating profit in the area of optical products on sales of 25.8 billion yen for the year ending March 31, 2007. The sales goal was met largely through the acquisition of Pentax' ophthalmic lens business. However, sales stagnated at 28.2 billion yen (€173m-$232m) in the past financial year, while operating profit reached only 0.7 billion yen (€4.3m-$5.8m), compared with 0.4 billion yen in the previous year.

On the other hand, Seiko's optical sales in Europe grew by more than 20 percent last year to 36 million, with 30 percent of that coming from Pentax lenses. The company recently set up a sales office in France for this division and is now aiming to increase its European market share from 3 to 10 percent.