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Sonova reported healthy H2 sales, although profitability was a miss vs. market expectations. Top-line growth was witnessed across segments, with FY22/23 guided to be another strong year. Moreover, shareholder reward attractiveness was maintained. While the near-term could be restrained by supply chain concerns (also a sector-wide issue), Sonova remains our preferred hearing aid/MedTech play, on the back of the strong existing and under-development offerings.
Companies: Sonova Holding AG
In H1, Sonova witnessed strong momentum/recovery across all its segments. Good momentum for Paradise and related offerings, newer innovations, and recovery in elective surgeries rendered pivotal support. This also translated into healthy profitability improvements. While management has maintained its guidance, it does not take on board the newer risks/challenges. Overall, the recent correction opens up a quick entry point, but with limited upside potential.
Sonova has upgraded its mid-term sales guidance on the back of sustained market recovery across key geographies and the introduction of newer and upgraded offerings. Although, the EBITA increase guidance remained unchanged. More importantly, this optimism has been reinforced despite the brewing Delta variant risks. Add on top the high-growth potential from the Sennheiser consumer division, and the firm’s sustained technological leadership in the core hearing aids business, Sonova seems attractiv
FY20/21 ended on a high with all segments and regions returning to growth in H2 – momentum was led by the strong market recovery and the successful launch of Paradise. The profitability beat was also encouraging as the group’s structural optimisation initiatives have borne fruit. Given that pent-up demand needs to be satisfied and new demand is also emerging as vaccination gathers momentum, management has shared a promising outlook for FY21/22. Re-initiation of the share buy-back programme is th
The H1 20/21 beat was driven by a strong market rebound, robust commercial execution and the successful launch of Paradise. The hearing aid wholesale business fared better than retail, though cochlear implant was a drag. Geographically, Asia-Pacific led the recovery with positive sales growth in Q2. Importantly, group sales were up in a high single-digit in September and, despite headwinds from the newly-imposed lockdowns, management has reiterated its full-year guidance on the back of the bette
Sonova has reiterated its mid-term growth strategy and financial targets. On the hearing aid wholesale side, the recovery has been faster than expected and the new product launch, Paradise, will be backed by robust commercial execution. On the retail side, store network optimisation and the omni-channel strategy will be at the forefront. The group will also focus on process improvements to generate cost savings. However, the recovery in the cochlear implants segment has been slow.
Benefiting from a faster than expected improvement in the hearing aids marketplace – the elderly population was more comfortable in going back to retail stores than anticipated – Sonova has upgraded its outlook for H1 20/21. Good reception of its recently-launched product, Paradise, also played a part. Assuming no further major lockdowns and sturdy demand for Paradise, Sonova expects to return to growth in H2 20/21. With the market stabilising, Danish rivals Demant and GN Store Nord should also
With the gradual re-opening of the markets, Sonova’s sales run-rate reached 59% (in Q1) vs. 35% in April 2020. The recovery was faster than expected and management has guided for a 65-75% sales run-rate and single-digit EBITA margin for H1 20/21. Interestingly, Sonova has accelerated its structural optimisation measures – streamlining of the retail network and optimisation of non-customer facing functions could lower the headcount by 4-5% – and these initiatives have the potential to generate an
H2 was better than expectations, led by a sturdy show in wholesale, though retail and cochlear implants lost pace due to the ongoing pandemic. Higher volumes and ASPs bolstered EBITA, though these were partly offset by an increase in the allowance for bad debts. To ensure adequate liquidity, the share buy-back programme has been suspended and management has proposed a stock dividend. Given that Sonova’s sales run-rate for April 2020 was better than Demant’s, it could be a key beneficiary when ec
Sales momentum accelerated significantly in H1, led by broad-based growth across businesses. While wholesale benefited from the success of Marvel, the momentum in cochlear implants was driven by the MRI-compatible implant. Retail was fuelled by effective lead generation management and in-store execution, leading to the financial guidance upgrade for FY19/20. Nonetheless, higher than expected R&D and sales and marketing expenses and a new restructuring charge took away some of the sheen.
After a slow start, organic sales growth accelerated significantly in H2, led by the successful introduction of the next-gen MFA product, Marvel. Geographically, Europe was the principal growth contributor which overshadowed a weak show in the US. Profits also witnessed a substantial increase, benefiting from higher volumes, favourable ASPs and supply chain optimisation. For FY18/19, organic revenue growth came in at the higher end of the guidance range and profits were in line with expectations
CVS, one of the largest healthcare and pharmacy chains in the US, has announced the closure of all of its hearing centres in the US. With the over-the-counter/OTC hearing aids regulation set to become law in 2020, the requirement of hearing loss testing and support care would be done away with and thus there would be no need for an audiologist in the new set-up, the company said. Also, as lower-priced products would dominate the market, dedicating space in stores to audiologists won’t make much
Revenues were in line with expectations as a deceleration in sales growth in the hearing instruments wholesale business was offset by a pick-up in momentum in the retail division. However, declining ASPs, resulting from a mature product portfolio and stiff competition, suppressed profitability. With a new product now out in the market, ASP’s should improve and thus bolster the top-line as well as profitability in the second half of the year.
Impacted by challenging market conditions in the US wholesale (competition) and retail business (repositioning of stores), Sonova reported FY17/18 organic sales growth (+3.8%) below the mid-term target range of +4-6%. However, as the next-gen SWORD product (launch expected in Q4 18/19) is likely to be a game-changer, we anticipate an acceleration thereafter.
Though the H1 17/18 results were slightly below the street’s estimates, we believe that the launch of the 2.4GHz MFA platform should provide the much needed push to organic growth in the short term and help the company achieve its FY17/18 revenue and profitability targets. However, the mid-term growth prospects hinges upon the success of the next-gen product (likely in FY18/19) which is likely to address the shortcomings of the current product offering (ear-to-ear streaming and rechargeability).
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EKF has reported a strong H1, with revenues of £37.5m and double-digit growth in underlying non-Covid related business. Management reports it is trading in line with expectations for the full year and we make no change to our profit forecasts at this stage. New growth initiatives are proceeding to plan and should lead to accelerated core growth from FY23 onwards. We continue to see substantial upside on successful execution with the shares trading on an FY23 P/E of 13.1x and an EV/EBITDA of just
Companies: EKF Diagnostics Holdings plc
Singer Capital Markets
Kromek reported full-year results to 30 April that were in line with the trading update of 16 May. Record visibility over our FY 2023 revenue forecast of £18m (c.53% of which is already contracted and 37% “Awarded not Contracted”, with the balance from its normal monthly run rate) is a great start for FY 2023 on which the company can build further. We are leaving forecasts unchanged for the moment, despite additional contract wins, and expect to introduce FY 2024 forecasts at the time of its int
Companies: Kromek Group Plc
Kromek announced a £1.7m fundraise by way of the issue of convertible loan notes (8% coupon, 18-month conversion period at 15p per share), which will allow the company to minimise any potential supply-chain disruption to the delivery of contracts during the year. We make only minor changes to forecasts to reflect the additional interest (c.£0.1m) accrued, with adjusted pre-tax loss increasing to £5.0m. We leave our target valuation of £118m (27p) unchanged, with near-term catalysts (e.g. a secon
Companies: Omega Diagnostics Group PLC
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Unigel Group, intends to join the Aquis Growth Market. Unigel Group is a pioneer in the field of thixotropic gels for the fibre optic cable industry. The Company is also a supplier of laminated steel tapes to the fibre optic cable industry in the US. Thixotropic gels and laminated steel tapes are essential components to the rapidly growing global fibre optic cable market. The Group export
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Smith & Nephew reported mostly in-line Q2 22 numbers, missing the top-line estimates (-0.6%) but beating on the trading profit (+0.5%), albeit marginally.
The Q2 performance was overshadowed by a 100bp margin downgrade for FY22 (-50bps Y-o-Y vs +50bps previously), which sent the stock ~9% lower in the session following the update. The reiteration of the top-line growth outlook of 4-5% was no help either.
We will cut our estimates, largely to reflect the soft margin guidance.
Companies: Smith & Nephew PLC
In Q2, Astra sustained its solid top-line momentum. Like in the past few quarters, this outperformance was again driven by higher COVID-19 business sales and solid growth in Diabetes drug Farxiga. Moreover, the recovering Oncology and much-needed green shoots in Rare Diseases were the icing on the cake. Although, profitability again came under the scanner but should improve in the coming quarters/years as the company completes its ‘growth phase’. Overall, a decent set of results and our positive
Companies: AstraZeneca PLC
Companies: SourceBio International Plc
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Inteliqo Limited, intends to join the Aquis Growth Market. Inteliqo Limited provides sales, marketing and distribution services to technology product owners under long-term distribution agreements. The Company has agreed its first such agreement in respect of the Ipedia iQ product range. The iQ product is a smart translation earphone (earbuds) system which offers integrated real time speech
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Belluscura has announced that it has entered into a Group Purchasing Organisation Product Supply Agreement with VGM Group which further expands its distribution network across the US.
Companies: Belluscura PLC
Companies: Argo Blockchain Plc (ARB:LON)Kromek Group Plc (KMK:LON)
For the year to 30 April 2022 Kromek reported results in line with the Trading Update of 16 May: revenue of £12.1m, +16.5%YoY, and an EBITDA (adj.) loss of £1.2m. We estimate revenue in the Advanced Imaging division grew 28% YoY to £4.6m, whilst the CBRN segment grew 1.5x to £5.4m.
Kromek reports that it expects growth to accelerate in both its core segments – security-related CBRN and advanced imaging – with the prospect of “a substantial year-on-year increase in revenue”. The CBRN segment in
Smith & Nephew’s growth acceleration and margin expansion in Q2 should continue in H215, more reflecting internal changes than improvements in market fundamentals. Its c 13% premium on 2015 P/E to its global ortho peers is supported by its brisker growth and strategic value.
Feature article: Utility regulation – Changes afoot - Patching up a tainted model
While the gas supply crisis – and its price implications – have dominated the UK price regulated sectors in recent months, other issues have arisen that have seriously tainted the price regulation system itself. Indeed, it is fair to ask whether it is ‘’fit for purpose’’.
Back in 1984, price regulation, via an unsophisticated RPI-x formula, was introduced to prevent the privatised British Telecom (BT) from abusin
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Hardman & Co