Medical Device Daily National Editor

NEW YORK – The Cooper Companies (Lake Forest, California) is at once both somewhat constricted in its lines of business and yet all-encompassing in its reach within those businesses.

On balance, any restrictions seen by outsiders probably are more than outweighed by the company’s strengths within those market areas.

Speaking during last week’s Piper Jaffray Health Care Conference at the Pierre Hotel, CFO Steve Neil saw much that is favorable in the way of market opportunities for the company,

The company’s business is cleaved into two units – CooperVision (also Lake Forest), which is responsible for some 85% of revenues, and CooperSurgical (Trumbull, Connecticut), which operates, so to speak, in the women’s health sector.

“We’re a market leader in both businesses,” said Neil. “Favorable demographics make both [businesses] consistent, long-term growers.”

He said the contact lens market in particular is “growing worldwide.” CooperVision’s revenues were up 30% in the most recent fiscal year, while net income nearly matched that level at 26% growth.

“We bested overall market growth across the board in the third quarter,” Neil said, adding: “We expect low- to mid-teens growth in sales in our vision products over the next five years.”

Saying that CooperVision is “the largest specialty lens company [toric lenses] worldwide,” he added that it “expects to move to the No. 2 position overall worldwide,” behind only Ciba Vision [Duluth, Georgia].”

Neil noted that insofar as contact lenses are concerned, there are “great differences in market characteristics as you go around the world.” Whereas the market for specialty lenses is growing at about 8% globally, he said that in Asia, that sector is growing at a 12% pace.

“The worldwide contact lens market is being driven by a growing myopia indication” as the elderly population grows, Neil said.

Another “favorable demographic,” he said, is that occupied by contact lens-hungry teens, especially in Asia and the U.S.

In the women’s health area, where the company has operated for just 10 years, CooperSurgical was cited as “a consistent story,” with some $125 million in revenues in fiscal 2006.

It is “the in-office market segment leader,” with sales expected to climb to the $300-million-a-year range by 2011. It was noted that CooperSurgical also is enjoying “consistent growth” in the hospital segment.

Its product segments include bone assessment, colposcopy, critical care, cryosurgery, female sterilization and fertility products, hysteroscopy, labor and delivery, neonatal, urogynecology and others.

No Comments