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News from Mido: first export decrease since 2003 for Italian eyewear in 2008 PDF
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International News
Monday, 09 March 2009
At this years' Mido Vittorio Tabacchi, president of Mido and Anfao, outlined the current economic situation and the implications for the eyecare industry. The following are the statements he made with respect to the Italian situation.

Italian eyewear production in 2008 totaled 2.597 million Euros, down by 6.4% over the previous year.

Both the fall in exports (-4.7% over 2007) and a downturn in the domestic Italian market (-7.3%) caused production to slow down, immediately leading to a reduction in the number of companies and people employed.

While small companies, especially in the Cadore eyewear district, had no other alternative but to close, the difficulty being experienced by medium and large companies could be seen in the temporary closure of production facilities, a reduction in working hours, temporary layoffs and the non-renewal of fixed-term employment contracts.

The year 2008 closed with 1,005 companies, 4% less than in 2007, mainly in the Belluno eyewear district, and with 17,500 people employed, down by 5.4% over the previous year.

Exports of frames, sunglasses and lenses, which account for approx. 85% of production by the industry, fell by 4.7% compared to 2007. While settling at higher levels than in 2006, the last time a negative result was reported was in 2003 after 5 years of steadily growing exports.

Exports of sunglasses fell by 6.9% in 2008 over 2007, settling at more than 1.422 million Euros. Exports of frames fell by a lesser extent but aroused concern nonetheless (-0.5%), settling at almost 735 million Euros.
 
Consolidated revenue increase of 5.7% in 2008 for Essilor PDF
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Companies
Monday, 09 March 2009
In 2008, consolidated revenue increase of 5.7% in 2008 for Essilor and operating profit (corresponding to contribution from operations plus or minus other income and expenses from operations and gains and losses on asset disposals) rose 2.0% during the year to €514.5 million (16.7% of revenue) from €504.6 million (17.3%) in 2007.

Operating expenses amounted to €1,198.2 million in 2008. As a percentage of revenue, they declined by 0.4 points during the year, to 39.0%.

Further, Essilor states that it will continue to make targeted acquisitions, especially in prescription laboratories, which could account for around 6% of growth in 2009, including the full-year contribution of 2008 acquisitions. Lastly, the Company will continue to optimize its management practices in response to changes in the economic environment.
 
Childrens' esteem higher wearing CLs PDF
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Ophthalmology and Optometry
Friday, 06 March 2009
A study published in the March Optometry & Vision Science examined the effects on glasses versus contact lenses on children ages 8 to 11. A randomised trial of 484 children with nearsightedness assigned half to wear glasses, and half to wear contact lenses.

The children were monitored for three years using the Self-Perception Profile for Children scale. The measure found that the primary category, Change in Global Self-Worth, was the same in both groups. But in the five subsections, differences were noted.

Contact wearers recorded a higher Physical Appearance score than glasses wearers, as well as Athletic Competence and Social Acceptance, to lesser extents. Scholastic Competence was down in the glasses group, especially among those unhappy with wearing glasses.

The study was funded by Johnson and Johnson.
 
Inaugural Gerard Crock Lecture at the University of Melbourne PDF
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Australian News
Thursday, 05 March 2009
The Centre for Eye Research Australia, in collaboration with the University of Melbourne and the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital presented the Inaugural Gerard Crock Lecture – an annual event to honour the memory and contribution of the late Professor Gerard Crock AO. Professor Crock was Australia’s first Professor of Ophthalmology and the founding Professor of Ophthalmology at the University Melbourne.

The lecture was launched by Professor David de Kretser AC, Governor of Victoria on Tuesday 24 February.
 
Save Your Vision Week in US on this week PDF
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International News
Wednesday, 04 March 2009
Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, proclaims March 1 through March 7, 2009, as Save Your Vision Week. During this time, he invites eye care professionals, teachers, members of the media, and all organizations dedicated to preserving eyesight to join in activities that will raise awareness of vision diseases and disorders.

In a 2005 study by the National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, only eight percent of respondents knew that glaucoma, a condition that can damage the optic nerve and cause vision loss and blindness, strikes without early warning. Similarly, only 11 percent knew that diabetic eye disease also begins as a silent vision threat.

To remind Americans about the importance of safeguarding their eyesight, the Congress, by joint resolution approved December 30, 1963, as amended (77 Stat. 629; 36 U.S.C. 138), has authorized and requested the President to proclaim the first week in March of each year as "Save Your Vision Week."
 
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