Smith & Nephew boosted by US

City A.M. Reporter
ARTIFICIAL knee and hip maker Smith & Nephew (S&N) posted a solid first-quarter, helped by strong growth in its US knees business, after rival Synthes was snapped up by Johnson & Johnson.

The British company reported trading profit of $241m (£147m) on revenue four per cent higher at $1.06bn yesterday, resulting in adjusted earnings per share just ahead of market forecasts at 18.4 cents.

S&N saw growth in its US knee unit of 10 per cent, taking share from major competitors, helping its orthopaedic reconstruction business grow two per cent in a flat market.

S&N attracted the attention of Johnson & Johnson, according to a source, before the US company agreed to buy Switzerland’s Synthes for $21bn in April.

The British company’s shares remain well above the 618p they traded at before news of J&J’s approach, indicating investors see an opportunity for further consolidation in the sector as competitors try to catch up with a larger top player. Shares in S&N closed up three per cent at 680p.