AAP Finance

Cochlear disappoints with stable HY profit

By AAP Newswire

Cochlear has underwhelmed investors with a first-half profit of $132.7 million, down from the $143 million analysts had expected and in line with the same period last year.

The global hearing implant giant said its sale revenues were up 5.0 per cent to $777.6 million, as units sold rose 13 per cent to 18,894.

Cochlear shares were down 4.2 per cent to $224.76 at 1238 AEDT.

"The highlight was the strong growth in cochlear implant revenue with lower-than-expected acoustics sales," Cochlear chief executive and president Dig Howitt said.

Cochlear implant sales revenue was up 14 per cent to $469.9 million, while sales of Cochlear's bone conduction and acoustic implants fell nine per cent to $82.2 million.

Cochlear pioneered bone-anchored hearing aids but has lost market share to competitors and surgeons held back surgeries for patients who may benefit from Cochlear's next-generation Osia 2 bone conduction implant.

"The new implant represents a significant improvement in performance, aesthetics and quality of life for bone conduction patients with an enthusiastic response from surgeons and patients over the past few months," Mr Howitt said.

But while rollout of the Osia 2 had begun in the United States, approval in Europe has been delayed and now likely won't occur until mid to late 2021, he said.

Cochlear did not benefit from the lower Australian dollar because of currency hedging, losing $21.9 million in foreign exchange contracts during the half.

Still Cochlear declared an interim dividend of $1.60, up 3.0 per cent from last year, a payout of 70 per cent of net profit.

COCHLEAR PROFIT STABLE

* Total revenue for six months to December 31 up 7pct to $755.7m compared with the same period in 2018

* Underlying net profit of $132.7m compared with $132.1m a year ago

* Interim dividend of $1.60 per share, fully franked, up from $1.55 a year ago.