Eye care maker Bausch & Lomb's Asian investment plans remain unchanged despite the economic downturn, according to the group's North Asia president John Loughlin. The US group's vision care business of contact lens and lens care products holds a 22 per cent share of the US$4.2 billion global market. The company has shifted its focus in the past two years to eye care, and has put in place a restructuring plan which will save up to $150 million in annual operating costs by next year. 'Through acquisitions, divestiture and entry into new eye care segments, we are moving away from diversified health care and creating a unique optics company, concentrating on vision correction,' Mr Loughlin said. Transformation plans have been most dramatic in Asia as revenues for contact lens and lens care products grew by more than 40 per cent last year in the mainland alone. Disposable contact lens shipments to the Japanese market doubled. With only nine million contact lens wearers in Asia, Mr Loughlin said there was vast potential for growth. Asia accounts for 20 per cent of the company's global eye care revenues. 'We are particularly looking to the growing economy in China,' he said. 'We want to leverage our full product line in Asia while entering new eye care segments and streamlining to improving our operating margins.' The firm will launch the first 30-day continuous wear contact lenses next year.