Optos shares slump after warning of ‘softer’ sales

EYE scanner specialist Optos saw its shares plunge 17 per cent yesterday after it warned demand for its retinal imaging devices was “softer” than expected.

Chief executive Roy Davis said sales during the first half of the year had been affected by a software upgrade that prompted some customers to delay placing orders for the Daytona product, which optometrists use to detect eye disease.

Earlier this year, Dunfermline-based Optos secured an order for 250 units from a “major” customer – yesterday revealed as OPSM, an eye-care chain in Australia and New Zealand that already has 160 of the devices.

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OPSM is owned by Luxottica, the parent company of sunglasses brands Oakley and Ray-Ban, and Canaccord Genuity analyst Julie Simmonds said the group was already Optos’ largest customer in the US, where it generates the bulk of its sales.

Simmonds said the closer relationship “bodes well for Optos over the longer term”, but its shares closed down 35p at 166p following the trading update.

The broker expects Optos to deliver a full-year profit of $23.3 million (£15.4m), 20 per cent lower than its previous forecast.