Sulzer Medica's earnings fall by half

Sulzer Medica is struggling to repair its reputation Keystone Archive

Europe's largest maker of orthopaedic devices, Sulzer Medica, saw its net earnings fall 49 per cent in the third quarter to SFr20.7 million ($12.6 million).

This content was published on November 14, 2001 - 09:50

The company, facing hundreds of US lawsuits over faulty hip and knee implants, said sales rose 5 per cent to SFr321 million compared with the same quarter in 2001. Analysts, however, said sales actually fell 2 per cent when acquisitions were stripped out.

Operating profit fell 89 per cent to SFr4.8 million.

Sulzer Medica has proposed a $783 million class settlement from patients that have had to undergo revision surgery after the implants failed to bond with the bone.

The company, spun off from Sulzer Industries last summer, has been trying to involve its former parent in the proceedings. But Sulzer has rejected any suggestion that it bears any legal or moral responsibility for the faults.

Individual lawsuits have been suspended pending an appeal from Sulzer Medica in the US state of Ohio.

On Wednesday, the company said it was aiming for a fair and fast solution with those affected but it said it was not prepared to increase its settlement offer.

Sulzer Medica's share price has lost around 84 per cent of its value since the beginning of the year.

swissinfo with agencies

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