Thai Optical Group has inaugurated a new 6,000-square-meter building and reorganized its production lines in order to raise its lens manufacturing capacity by about 20 percent, in tune with the increase in its incoming orders.

Most of the additional capacity is going to be for mass production, but the Thai group, which continues to act as a huge OEM laboratory, has purchased new Optotech equipment in view of a possible doubling in its capacity for the production of free-form lenses.

In the past year, TOG was affected like many other companies by declining demand for ophthalmic lenses. Its consolidated revenues dropped by 11.5 percent to 1,553 million baht (€35.6m-$48.0m) from 1,753 million baht in 2008, and its net income went down by 9.6 percent to 169 million baht (€3.9m-$5.2m).

The results include the full consolidation of a 100 percent subsidiary, Thai Optical Company, which sells mineral glass lenses and which saw its own sales decline by 15.8 percent to 249 million baht (€5.7m-$7.7m). Excluding the subsidiary, TOG's export sales fell by 10.6 percent to 1,219 million baht (€28.0m-$37.7m). Domestic sales declined by 10.5 percent to 85 million baht (€1.9m-$2.6m).

An entry in the Stock Exchange of Thailand shows that Specsavers Asia Pacific Holdings is registered as TOG's largest single shareholder, with a stake of 25.3 percent. Company officials said that Specsavers achieved its status following the issuance of 68.75 million shares in September 2008.

TOG's current stock market capitalization stands at around 1,580 million baht (€36.2m-$48.9m), or roughly one year worth of sales. Specsavers is now one of the five biggest customers of TOG.