Bausch & Lomb's net earnings rose by 33 percent to $28.3 million in the 2nd quarter ended June 28 as its total sales grew by 12 percent to $512.5 million, with a 4 percent increase in local currencies, and the management thinks the growth could have reached 5-6 percent without the SARS epidemic. Sales in dollars are now expected to increase by nearly 10 percent for the full year, generating a slightly better level of profitability as in the latest quarter.

In the USA, revenues increase by 9 percent to 40 percent of the total turnover. Elsewhere, the company recorded overall increases of 13 percent in dollars and less than 1 percent in local currencies, with flat sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Sales of contact lenses rose by 12 percent in dollars and by 4 percent in local currencies. Lens care products were up 8 and 3 percent, respectively, in reported and constant dollars.

Meanwhile, a court in Düsseldorf is scheduled to hold a hearing next month in one of several judicial cases pitting B&L against CIBA Vision with regard to its own PureVision lenses, which are banned in the USA. The court has upheld CIBA Vision's right to an injunction, although B&L is attacking the validity of the patent in the European Patent Office. Other patent lawsuits are pending in Ireland and Australia, besides the USA.