July 16, 2020 / 4:10 AM / 21 days ago

Sonova sales could return to pre-crisis levels by mid-2021, CEO tells website

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Swiss hearing aid maker Sonova is seen at the company's headquarters in Staefa, Switzerland May 16, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - Sonova’s (SOON.S) chief executive said sales at the world’s largest maker of hearing aids could return near to levels before the coronavirus crisis by mid-2021, although visibility remains very low as the infection still spreads.

Arnd Kaldowski told the Swiss online site The Market that the company would launch its newest technology platform when sales reached 65% to 75% of their former levels, something he said could happen by the end of October.

“In our view, the recovery is sustainable,” he said in the interview published on Thursday. “Those markets that have been out of lockdown for some time are gradually approaching their old levels.”

Kaldowski, who this month announced job cuts amounting to about 5% of Sonova’s roughly 15,000-strong workforce to help cope with falling sales, said the focus on the new technology platform was on sound improvements.

Kaldowski said the 50 million to 70 million Swiss francs (£42.21 million-£58.93 million) annual savings he expected from the restructuring and job cuts would be invested in products and expanding the retail business.

Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Edmund Blair

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