After undergoing laser eye treatment, then new and often painful, Christopher Neave founded Ultralase in 1991 with the backing of a friend who ran a similar business in Toronto. Neave claims that patients need spend only 20 painless minutes in the treatment room. His Leeds company performs 1,000 operations a month in its 12 clinics across the country at a cost of about £1,000 an eye. The company’s sales have risen 78% from £2m in 1998 to £11m in 2001, when it employed 60 staff. The original investors were bought out in 2000 for £6m by Granville Baird, the venture capitalist.
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