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Oticon Opn drives ASP recovery while lacklustre volumes are a surprise

  • 10 Mar 17

William Demant (WDH) finished FY 16 on a healthy note with sales in line, while earnings were ahead of our as well as consensus estimates. Revenues expanded 13% (both on a reported and a LC basis) to DKK12bn, consisting of 6% underlying, 7% acquisitive and a less than 1% negative currency impact. With both retail (+8% organically) and wholesale (+6% organically) remaining robust, the lynchpin (c.88% of FY 16 sales) hearing devices expanded 6% organically, at par with GN Store Nord’s hearing division and ahead of the market (1-3% in value terms as per the company’s estimates). The other two smaller segments delivered a mixed performance, with hearing implants growing 7% organically while diagnostic instruments remained sluggish (+1% organically, +3% LC basis,) amid tough market conditions. Adjusted operating profit increased 12% yoy to DKK2,049m, marginally ahead of our expectations, supported by ASP recovery related to Oticon Opn in H2 while the adjusted operating margin remained flat (17.1% vs. 17.2% in FY 15) primarily due to the increased costs associated with retail consolidation (aka the Audika acquisition). Along with the results, the company also announced major management changes – current COO Søren Nielsen appointed President & CEO replacing incumbent President & CEO Niels Jacobsen and board member Niels B Christiansen appointed chairman of the board replacing current chairman Lars Nørby Johansen, effective April 2017. We do not expect any strategic change with the change in guard given that these are internal changes following a natural progression. For FY 17, management is guiding for growth across all three businesses (positive currency and acquisition impact of c.1% each) and EBIT in the range of DKK2.2-2.5bn (before restructuring costs of DKK200m).