Centerpulse returns to health

Max Link, Centerpulse CEO and chairman. Max Link

The Swiss medical technology firm, Centerpulse, posted first half net profits of SFr94.8 million ($62.8 million), more than twice the figure for the same period last year.

This content was published on August 23, 2002 - 09:09

Profits exceeded the SFr81-88 million expected by analysts.

The Zurich-based company fought its way back to profitability after a liability settlement over faulty hip and knee implants, pushed it to a SFr1.19 billion loss in 2001.

The faulty implants affected 30,000 people, mainly in the United States, and dented the reputation of the firm leading to a loss of US sales, increased debt and weakened shares.

Centerpulse, formerly known as Sulzer Medica, also reported a six per cent increase in turnover to SFr766.4 million.

Focus on profit

Centerpulse said that having reached a settlement with affected patients in the US, it was now concentrating on increasing profitability.

"In the second half we are aiming for a further improvement in profitability and operating results," Centerpulse CEO and Chairman Max Link said in a statement.

The company said it hoped to achieve at least the result reached in 2000 before the implant problems arose.

As part of a company restructuring, Centerpulse recently announced plans to sell off its cardiovascular products division.

Last month it also parted company with chief executive Stephan Rietiker after less than one year in the job. Centerpulse cited differences of opinion for the surprise departure.


Centerpulse data

Centerpulse made a net profit of SFr94.8 in the first six months of 2002.
The company was formerly known as Sulzer-Medica.
Turnover was up six per cent at SFr766.4 million.
30,000 people were affected by faulty hip and knee transplants.
Centerpulse reached a $1 billion settlement with US patients over the faulty implants.

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