AMO Q4 eye care sales down year-on-year, but up from Q3

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SANTA ANA, Calif. American Medical Optics’ eye care sales declined 34.6 percent to $171 million for 2007 with a 4.6 percent drop in the fourth quarter, the company announced last week. However, on a sequential basis, fourth-quarter eye care sales rose 19.9 percent, suggesting the category is rebounding from the recalled multipurpose solutions last year.

“This performance shows that we’ve succeeded in getting a competitive, complete, branded product back on the market all per the plans we outlined with you previously,” Jim Mazzo, AMO chairman and chief executive officer, told analysts.

According to the company, fourth-quarter multipurpose sales declined 16 percent to $20.1 million, which included approximately $3.8 million in returns and an estimated $29.2 million in lost sales related to the recall. For 2007, multipurpose sales declined 59.8 percent to $59.2 million, which included approximately $41.5 million in returns and an estimated $84 million in lost sales related to the recall. Sales declines in both periods were partially offset by the re-launch of Complete Easy Rub Multipurpose Solution, AMO reported. For the four weeks ended Jan. 15, Complete Easy Rub Multipurpose Solution held 6.7 percent of the U.S. branded multipurpose solution market, AMO reported, citing data from Information Resources, Inc. “Keep in mind also that our U.S. market share is yet to reflect the benefits of our professional selling efforts,” Mazzo said. “In October, we began sampling Complete Easy Rub care kits to doctors and rolling out patient educational tools that convey the importance of a rub and rinse regimen as the standard of care for contact lenses. We’re still in the early stages and our first priority has been eyecare professionals who previously used Complete. The reaction to the new product and standard of care messaging has been very positive. Our focus is to regain and grow our share of doctors’ recommendations in these offices so that we continue to grow retail market share.”

AMO also launched a dry eye product this month. Called Blink Tears, the product is formulated to relieve mild to moderate dry eye symptoms whether used alone or in conjunction with ocular pharmaceutical therapies. “Dry eye is a condition that affects patients of all ages so this product represents a true example of our complete refractive solution strategy at work,” Mazzo said. “As such we’ve trained the sales organizations of all three of our businesses to sell the product which we’re confident will be a key competitor in the $500 million dry eye marketplace.”

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