In 2013, sales of contact lens sales to eye care professionals (ECP) across a combined 33 European countries reached €1,468, marking a 3.6 percent rise on the previous year, according to the most recent census released by Euromcontact, the short name for the European Federation of National Associations and International Companies of Contact Lens and Lens Care Manufacturers.

The organization collected data from all the major suppliers in all the 33 European countries for daily disposable, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly and conventional soft contact lenses. Its report only covers the 11 major countries that represent 81 percent of the collected figures, but occasionally makes a reference to the others. Belgium was combined with Luxembourg, as was Slovakia with the Czech Republic and Ireland with the U.K. The 11 markets for which data assessed include Belgium & Luxembourg, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K. and Ireland.

In the 11 countries covered by the report, the contact lens market grew by 2.7 percent to €1,188 million. Daily disposables grew by 5.2 percent while weekly, bi-weekly and monthly (W/B&M) grew by 1.1 percent. Sales of conventional soft lenses (CS) dropped sharply, registering a 19.8 percent decline, but CS only represented 0.9 percent of the total contact lens market in 2013.

Among the 11 reported countries, Germany posted the strongest growth in terms of total value, registering a 7.7 percent increase, followed by Norway with a 6.7 percent rise. Belgium-Luxemburg posted the sharpest decline, down 12.7 percent in value. No figures were given for Italy in the report.

Sweden led the market penetration ranks with 13.5 percent of the eyewear market among adults aged 15 to 64, followed by Norway with 10.5 percent and Denmark with 10.5 percent market penetration. Contact lens sales rose in these three countries by 7.1 percent, 9.5 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively.

Spain, where the contact lens market fell by 1.1 percent as compared to 2012, had the lowest market penetration rate among the 11 reported countries at 3.4 percent.

The report shows that daily disposables are worn by 6.71 percent of CL wearers in Sweden, followed by Denmark with 7.4 percent, and Norway with 7.1 percent. W/B&M is the strongest segment in the market as a percentage of all wearers in Spain and the Netherlands, both with 80.0 percent of total CL users.

Silicone hydrogel lenses (SiHy), which have been important drivers for the contact lens market over the past few years, held a 78 percent share of the W/B&M segment in the 33 countries. Among the 11 countries analyzed more in detail, SiHy CLs made up 55 percent of the market. Norway had the highest percentage of SiHy among the W/W-B&M, with 90.5 percent, followed by the U.K. & Ireland with 86.0 percent, and Denmark with 84.0 percent. Italy had the lowest rate among the 11 reported countries with 56.5 percent.

The total market for lens care products (LCP) across all 33 markets declined by 0.7 percent in 2013 and was worth €230 million. The market for these products declined the most in Denmark. Lower drops were recorded in France, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy and Norway.

Across the 11 reported countries, multipurpose solutions grew by 1.3 percent in value while hydrogen peroxide (HP) based solutions declined by 1.4 percent. Together, HP and multipurpose solutions made up 79.5 percent of the total LCP market.

Companies that contributed data for the report include Alcon/Ciba Vision, AMO, Avizor, Bausch+Lomb, CooperVision, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care and Menicon Europe. This is the ninth year that pan-European data from Euromcontact member companies have been used to investigate the size of thed market. Euromcontact states in the document that details on rigid lenses are not provided since a significant proportion of their sales in some countries, for example in the U.K., Germany and the Netherlands, is made by companies that do not take part in the data collection process.