Dental implant giant shows its financial teeth

Fortunately for Nobel, not everyone has teeth like this.

Nobel Biocare, the world’s largest manufacturer of dental implants, increased net profit by 32.6 per cent in 2004 – and left analysts with their mouths hanging open.

This content was published on February 10, 2005

The firm, which reported just one week before its major international rival – Basel-based Straumann – said on Thursday that it aimed for even better results in 2005.

Investors flocked to market as the Swedish-Swiss company released its annual results, driving the share price up by nearly 12 per cent in trading on Thursday.

One analyst branded the results, which outstripped market expectations, an “unmitigated success”.

Net profit for 2004 was €95.5 million (SFr149 million), compared to the 2003 figure of €72 million.

2004 sales also rose by 16.3 per cent to €388.4 million – despite the discontinuation of a major product line halfway through 2003.

Stellar results

President and CEO Heliane Canepa told a news conference in Zurich that the company had exceeded all its targets for 2004, and looked forward to renewed growth in 2005.

She said the continued strong momentum was primarily the result of the company’s innovative and constantly updated portfolio.

“Based on its pipeline, the company is confident of its ability to remain the trendsetter in the industry,” Canepa added.

Shares in Nobel Biocare, which is quoted on the Swiss and Swedish stock exchanges, have outperformed the European health care share index by 87 per cent since the beginning of 2004.

Analysts point out that dental care is one of the fastest growing segments in the health care sector.

Doris Schurdak of Kepler Equities said: “Given the stellar results and upbeat outlook, we are looking to increase our estimates by seven to ten per cent.”

Nobel Biocare describes itself as the world leader in innovative aesthetic dental solutions.

Its core business involves the manufacture of dental implants and prosthetics.

Dental implants are permanent replacements for dental roots and the fastest growing segment within the global dental market.

They are based on a medical phenomenon known as ossointegration – effectively, the integration of the implant with the patient's jawbone.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

Nobel Biocare, the world number one in dental implants, has its headquarters in Sweden, but has been jointly quoted on the Swiss stock exchange since 2002.
It has about 1450 employees and four production sites worldwide.
Net profit for 2004 was 95.5 million euros, on revenue of 388.4 million – a 32.6% increase.

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In brief

Shares in Nobel Biocare rose sharply after it reported a sharp increase in both profit and revenue.
The company’s number one rival, Basel-based Straumann, will have a hard act to follow when it publishes its annual figures next week.
Analysts say the sector as a whole is booming, but Nobel Biocare has performed well beyond expectations.

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