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Synthes produces record sales and earnings

The Synthes medical device maker has reported a record 2008 financial year, with net profit up by 20 per cent to $735 million (SFr861.3 million).

The group, which has headquarters in the Swiss city of Solothurn and West Chester, Pennsylvania, said on Wednesday that sales were up by nearly 16 per cent to $3.2 billion.

Figures at Synthes, which is listed on the Swiss stock exchange, beat market forecasts. Demand grew across all regions and product lines, the company said in a statement.

Synthes is the world's largest maker of implants to mend bone fractures and also produces surgical power tools and advanced biomaterials.

In its outlook, Synthes said sales should rise by a low double-digit percentage in local currencies this year, the same as it had targeted in 2008.

Market observers say the company has been resilient to the global economic crisis because its products are mostly part of essential treatments.

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