MONROVIA, Calif., April 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- STAAR Surgical Company (STAA), a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of minimally invasive ophthalmic products, today announced that first quarter revenue is expected to be approximately $18 million, which would represent approximately 16% growth. All revenue comparisons are to the same period prior year results. The effect of foreign currency exchange reduced total company revenue by approximately $750,000 during the quarter. Visian ICL revenue grew approximately 24%, exceeding the $10 million level in quarterly revenue for the first time in the Company's history. STAAR is reporting the preliminary results due to previously scheduled meetings with investors on April 11-12 and the upcoming American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons Annual Conference. Final results for the first quarter are expected to be released on May 1, 2013.
"Our year is off to a good start, despite currency exchange and backorder challenges," said Barry G. Caldwell, President & CEO. "Visian ICL revenue grew in 10 of our 11 targeted markets during the quarter allowing us to achieve a quarterly revenue record for the product line. In Europe, revenue increased approximately 57%, reflecting the growing acceptance of our new ICL CentraFLOW™ technology as well as the impact of an expanded sales team in the region. The CentraFLOW technology simplifies the ICL treatment by making it a one-step procedure, which is more convenient and cost effective for both the patient and surgeon. We are encouraged by the market demand we are generating for this high margin product while LASIK volume seems to be under pressure globally. We continue to expect regulatory approval for the CentraFLOW technology in Korea and India later this year. Visian ICL revenue grew in the U.S. by approximately 12% in the first quarter, likely due to our on-going marketing, social media, and promotional activities. This 12% first quarter growth in the U.S.