F&P Healthcare optimistic despite NZD

Last updated 15:13 20/02/2013

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Fisher & Paykel Healthcare has upped its full-year earnings guidance thanks to strong second-half sales.  

The NZX and ASX-listed medical equipment manufacturer said that despite the continuing strength of the New Zealand dollar, it now expected net profit after tax for the year ending March 31 to be about $75 million - up on its previous upgraded estimate in November of between $69m and $72m.

The earnings upgrade followed encouraging second-half sales growth, chief executive Michael Daniell said, particularly for its respiratory products and its recently released Eson nasal mask and Pilairo nasal pillows mask.

"We are expecting constant currency operating revenue growth for the second-half to increase to approximately 14 per cent, up from 8 per cent for the first half," Daniell said.

FPH said its operating margin had continued to improve as a result of new products, operating efficiency gains and manufacturing at its Mexico facility.  

The company has also launched a new product, the Simplus full-face mask, for use in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea, a condition in which the person's upper airway is partly or completely blocked during sleep. 

Daniell said the initial customer response to the mask - available in New Zealand and Australia from April -had been positive.  

FPH shares on the NZX were trading down this afternoon, but jumped almost 6 per cent following the news to $2.48 - up 15 per cent on a year ago. 

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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