Fisher & Paykel Healthcare reported a record $97.4 million interim profit on record sales across its two divisions.

Net profit rose 20 per cent in the six months through September, and was 14 per cent higher on a constant currency basis, the Auckland-based maker of hospital equipment and personal sleep apnoea products said.

Operating revenue climbed 12 per cent to a record $511.3 million, up 8 per cent on a constant currency basis.

Operating revenue for the hospital product group, which includes products used in respiratory, acute and surgical care, increased 13 per cent to a record $297.3 million and was up 11 per cent in constant currency.

Homecare product revenue – which includes sleep apnoea and respiratory support equipment – rose 10 per cent to $211.1 million, up 6 per cent in constant currency.

“Our devices and systems used for nasal high flow therapy continue to drive much of the growth in our hospital business,” managing director Lewis Gradon said. “Our new F&P 950 heated humidification system for neonates is performing well in New Zealand and Australia, and we are looking forward to the release of the 950 in Europe next year.”

Growth in hardware devices used in the home was “robust” and the company experienced strong demand for its myAirvo and SleepStyle devices, he said. Sleep apnoea masks and accessories growth of 2 per cent in constant currency terms was as expected, as the company anticipates the launch of new masks.

“We are pleased with the progress that we have made with our myAirvo device, which is used for patients with chronic respiratory conditions, and sales from this product are an increasing proportion of our Homecare revenue. We anticipate that resolving a manufacturing delay will allow us to introduce our next new OSA mask early in 2019, which will be followed by more new masks during the year.”

The company said it’s on track to meet its full-year earnings forecast, which it reiterated at $205 million to $210 million. The forecast assumes exchange rates of 67 US cents and 60 euro cents for the period, from 72 US cents and 59 euro cents for the prior March year.

Fisher & Paykel said that guidance assumes a moderate flu season in the Northern Hemisphere.

“There was a very strong Northern Hemisphere flu season last year which we estimate contributed between 1 and 2 percentage points to our hospital revenue growth. At this stage it is too early to predict the severity of the upcoming Northern Hemisphere flu season.”

The company will pay an interim 9.75 cents per share dividend on Dec. 21. That is 11 per cent higher than a year earlier.

The shares last traded at $13.06, and are down 9 per cent so far this year.

Source: NZ Herald

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