Optos profits slump on lower first-half sales

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Eyecare company Optos has unveiled a 90 per cent plunge in first-half profits, sending its shares down sharply, but insisted its long-term prospects “remain strong”.

The Dunfermline-based firm, which makes devices used to detect eye disease, said it expects sales to increase during the second half of the year, but full-year revenues would be lower than 2012.

For the six months to the end of March, the company delivered a pre-tax profit before one-off items of $700,000 (£460,000), down from $6.9 million for the same period a year ago.

Investec analyst Sebastien Jantet said the figures came in below the broker’s forecasts and shares in Optos were down about 17 per cent in early trading.

Total revenues fell to $73m, from $86.2m last time, and chief executive Roy Davis said the lower-than-expected sales were the result of poor economic conditions, mainly in Europe.

He added: “While our full-year outlook is softer than we had hoped, we have made important recent strategic and operational progress and firmly believe that the longer-term prospects for Optos remain strong.

“We have significantly increased both the number of new customers and our installed base of devices whilst growing sales from markets outside of North America.”