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Syneron posts smaller 1Q loss despite lower sales

NEW YORK (AP) -- Syneron Medical Ltd. on Wednesday posted a smaller loss in the first quarter despite a decline in sales, helped by lower costs.

The Israeli company makes devices designed to treat acne scars, remove hair and other cosmetic procedures. Sales for its Syneron and Candela devices fell 5 percent, hurt by economic conditions in Japan and the region encompassing Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The company also said director David Schlachet is now chairman of the board. He replaces Shimon Eckhouse, Syneron's co-founder, who came on as CEO in April. Syneron also named the head of an Israeli clothing company, Amit Meridor, as president.

From January through March, Syneron lost $2.4 million after losing $2.6 million in the same months a year ago. Its per-share loss was unchanged at 7 cents. Analysts were expecting a loss of 10 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue fell 2 percent to $61.2 million, matching analyst predictions, as sales of Syneron and Candela products fell 5 percent to $53.8 million. Sales in a division that houses the company's newer products, such as a hair-removal device for home users, grew 21 percent to $7.4 million.

Despite the revenue slip, the company's loss narrowed as its costs to make its devices fell 5.5 percent to $28.8 million, and its operating expenses were almost unchanged at $35 million.

Shares of Syneron rose 49 cents, or 5.5 percent, to $9.36 in afternoon trading. Shares had edged up 2 percent in 2013.