Eyeglasses sales help Coastal Contacts achieve record year

The world's largest online eyewear seller, Coastal Contacts Inc. (Nasdaq: COA; TSX:COA), yesterday reported a record $196 million in sales during its fiscal year ended ...

The world's largest online eyewear seller, Coastal Contacts Inc. (Nasdaq: COA; TSX:COA), yesterday reported a record $196 million in sales during its fiscal year ended October 31.

Most of that growth came from increased sales of eyeglasses, as opposed to contact lenses, which continue to comprise the bulk of the company's business.

Total sales rose 7% to $196.1 million from $182.7 million in 2011. Of that, contact lens sales inched up 3% to $148.2 million from $143.5 million in 2011 while eyeglasses sales jumped 22% to $48 million from $39.7 million in 2011.

The company also trimmed its net loss for the year to $4.9 million from $5.3 million in 2011.

"A particular highlight was growth of 100% year-over-year in the U.S. eyeglasses market during the fourth quarter, which was in line with our expectations and remains a key focus for the company," said Coastal Contacts CEO Roger Hardy.

"We believe the eyeglasses category holds significant potential for both rapid growth and earnings expansion as markets develop."

The company manufactures its eyeglasses at the Broadway Tech Centre where it has invested in grinding machines.

The company ended the fiscal year with $19.2 million in cash and equivalents, compared with $16.9 million in cash and equivalents in 2011.

"We have sufficient working capital to execute in our business plan going forward," Hardy said.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom

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