ZURICH Swiss medical device maker Synthes Inc
SYST.VX reported a 20 percent rise in 2007 net profit,
beating analysts' average forecast, as sales grew across all
regions and product lines.
The maker of medical nails, screws and plates to fix broken
bones said on Thursday sales were likely to rise at a
low-double digit percentage rate in local currencies in 2008.
Shares in Synthes were indicated to rise 1.2 percent in a
Swiss market which was overall set to open lower, according to
pre-market data provided by bank Clariden Leu CLPRE.
Synthes net profit rose to $612.6 million and sales grew by
15 percent to $2.76 billion, with sales growing 23 percent in
Europe and 13 percent in North America, its largest market by
"The results are excellent and the outlook confident," said
ZKB analyst Sibylle Bischofberger. "They even managed to boost
profitablity more than expected."
Analysts had on average expected a net profit at Synthes,
which also produces artificial spine discs, of $592 million and
sales of $2.74 billion. [nL25387254]
Surgeon training and a controlled launch of artificial
spine disc ProDisc-C started in January 2008, Synthes said.
Many analysts see the spine disc business as a key driver for
future growth at Synthes.
Analysts are now keen to see whether the firm's chief
executive Michel Orsinger, who took over from co-founder and
majority shareholder Hansjoerg Wyss last year, will lay out
more ambitious goals at an investor conference later in the
Synthes shares are largely flat this year but have lost 15
percent since hitting a record in January 2007.
Synthes shares trade at around 22 times forecast 2008
earnings, according to Reuters data, largely in line with other
Swiss medical technology companies such as dental implant
makers Straumann (STMN.S), Nobel Biocare NOBB.VX and hearing
aid maker Sonova (SOON.S).
(Reporting by Sven Egenter; Editing by David Holmes)