Smith+Nephew sees further pandemic pain as annual profit slumps

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(Reuters) – Smith+Nephew warned on Thursday the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to continue into the first half of 2021 and that it was uncertain on the timing of recovery, as the medical products maker posted a drop in annual trading profit.

The British company, however, said it expects substantial underlying revenue growth in 2021, with its hip implants business outperforming knee implants, its sports medicine & ENT franchise performing strongly on market recovery and also forecasts better growth in its advanced wound-management business.

“We start 2021 with three clear priorities: to return to top-line growth and recapture momentum; to drive further operational improvement; and to continue to respond effectively to COVID-19,” Chief Executive Officer Roland Diggelmann said, adding that the company also expects 2021 profit margins to improve.

The company, a maker of orthopaedic implants and prosthetics, along with wound dressings and other surgical technologies, said trading profit slumped 42% to $683 million for the year ended Dec. 31, missing analyst estimates of $712 million.

Smith+Nephew said its fourth-quarter performance was hit by rising COVID-19 cases from mid-October, particularly in the United States and Europe, as hospitals and patients delayed elective surgeries.


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