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Bausch + Lomb move shows contact lenses are big business

Conor Trindle
14 Nov 2018, 17:08 GMT+10

WATERFORD, Ireland - Bausch Health Companies Inc. has announced it will invest to expand contact lens manufacturing capacity at its Bausch + Lomb site in Waterford, Ireland.

The Company is adding multiple production lines at the site to support the manufacture of its daily disposable silicone hydrogel (SiHy daily) contact lenses.

Bausch + Lomb is one of the worlds most respected eye health brands, due in large part to the contact lenses manufactured at the Rochester (New York) and Waterford sites. By expanding the production capacity at both locations, we will continue to build on their legacies as we invest for the future,Joseph C. Papa, chairman and CEO, Bausch Health said Tuesday. The increased manufacturing capabilities will enable us to meet our anticipated global customer demand for the Bausch + Lomb daily disposable silicone hydrogel contact lenses, a product that is critical to both our ongoing transformation and to our mission of improving peoples lives globally.

SiHy daily contact lenses are known as one of the Companys Significant Seven, which is a suite of seven key products that collectively are expected to generate more than $1 billion dollars of annualized revenue, at peak, in the next five years. Bausch Health says it believes these products will help drive the long-term, future growth of the Company.

Bausch Health has been working closely with the public and private sectors in support of the capacity expansion in Waterford. The investment is supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland, the agency responsible for the attraction and development of foreign direct investment in Ireland.

This investment, which will create 100 new jobs, is a testament to the efforts and commitment of all employees in the Waterford facility. It enables us to take advantage of the opportunities that are emerging in the contact lens and eye health sector in the coming years. The corporation has placed enormous confidence in our team with this investment, and it is a reflection of our track record of recent performance and an acknowledgement of our commitment to continue to deliver into the future, Mark Hennessy, Bausch + Lomb Waterford site lead said Tuesday.

This investment will further strengthen the Waterford plants position in supporting Bausch + Lombs efforts to increase its share of the contact lens market, following an earlier investment between 2015 and 2017. That programme added 300 employees at the Waterford facility, bringing the current total employment there to 1,350. I am looking forward to the coming years as a time of great opportunity and further growth, he added.

Welcoming the investment news,Minister for Business Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys,said Tuesday: I am delighted to see this investment which will result in a significant jobs boost for the South East. Bausch + Lomb is one of the best-known and most respected health care brands in the world, and I look forward to our mutually beneficial relationship continuing to develop even further in the years ahead.

Minister of State at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, John Halligan,said: Bausch + Lomb has a long and proud history in Waterford, and this significant investment reaffirms its continued commitment to the county. They are on course to have well over 1,350 people employed on the site. This investment is a great vote of confidence in what the region has to offer and I wish them well for the future.

Martin Shanahan, CEO IDA Ireland said:I welcome the news that Bausch + Lomb is to expand its manufacturing capabilities at its Waterford, site creating an additional 100 jobs. This adds to Irelands reputation in this sector; we are the second largest exporter of MedTech products in Europe with 33 per cent of the global supply of contact lenses made here. Winning investment for regional locations is a key focus for IDA Ireland and the resulting increase in employment this expansion will create is very important for the South East Region and I wish the company continued success.

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