Smith & Nephew counting on emerging markets for growth

City A.M. Reporter
ARTIFICIAL joints maker Smith & Nephew yesterday said emerging markets would help counter slow European and United States trade in 2013, as it posted a drop in fourth-quarter profits after rivals’ new products hurt its knee implant business.

The group posted revenue of $1.08bn (£688m), slightly down on a year ago, trading profit of $272m, down from $279m, and adjusted earnings per share were 21.6 cents, down from 21.9 cents in the fourth quarter.

Analysts were expecting revenue of $1.07bn, trading profit of $260m and adjusted earnings per share of 20.4 cents, according to a company-compiled consensus.

Having cut jobs and reorganised to reduce reliance on those slower markets, the company saw emerging market sales deliver 14 per cent growth – against just one per cent in the US and two per cent in Europe – while revenue in China rose 30 per cent.

“We expect the market conditions seen in 2012 broadly to continue in 2013,” the firm said.

The fourth-quarter results beat market expectations on both the top and bottom line, and shares closed up 0.7 per cent at 701.5p.

Chief executive Olivier Bohuon said he did not expect business to improve in the United States and Europe, where the market for replacement knees and hips has been weak for a number of years.

Patients in the US in particular have been skipping non-essential operations for cost reasons.