February 7, 2019 / 7:28 AM / 9 months ago

Emerging markets to fuel Smith & Nephew revenue growth in 2019

(Reuters) - British medical products maker Smith & Nephew forecast full-year revenue growth in line with analysts’ expectations on Thursday, as it looks to grow in emerging markets and expand its product line-up.

The company has been under pressure to improve margins and find new sources of growth as it competes with bigger rivals such as Stryker Corp, Zimmer Biomet Holdings and Johnson & Johnson.

The medical technology firm, which rearranged its commercial network in November to boost sales, forecast 2019 profit margins between 22.8 percent and 23.2 percent and revenue growth between 2.5 percent and 3.5 percent, largely in line with estimates.

Smith & Nephew’s established markets, including the United States from where the company gets about half of its revenue from, had returned to growth following a tough start to 2018, but have now slowed as the market saturates. Emerging markets, especially China, however, are growing.

Revenue edged up 1.3 percent to $1.29 billion (999.61 million pounds) from a year earlier, just short of average analyst forecast of $1.30 billion, according to a company-provided consensus, as growth in established markets slowed and it was hurt by a stronger dollar.

Smith & Nephew’s operating profit for fiscal 2018 fell 7.6 percent to $863 million from a year earlier. Its adjusted earnings of 100.9 cents per share beat expectations of 95 cents.

The company also said that UK’s decision to leave the European Union will not have any “significant impact” on its long-term ability to conduct business in the region.

(This story corrects adjusted EPS in sixth paragraph and clarifies it beat estimates, not missed).

Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham and Arun Koyyur

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