Christopher Neave remembers when laser eye treatment was a new and painful process. He underwent the treatment himself before founding Ultralase in 1991 with backing from a friend who ran a similar business in Toronto. Neave says that patients can now be treated painlessly in 20 minutes. Ultralase does more than 1,000 operations a month at its 12 clinics across Britain, with treatment costing about £1,100 an eye. In 2000 the venture-capital firm Granville Baird acquired 60% of the Leeds company for £6m. Sales have grown nearly 99% a year from £2.4m in 1999 to £18.9m in 2002.
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