25 May 2013

Medical equipment maker forecasts big profit rise

4:15 pm on 25 May 2013

Fisher Paykel Healthcare is forecasting a rise in profit of as much as 17% over the next year as demand for its products grows around the world, particularly in developing countries.

The specialist medical equipment maker has reported a record annual profit of $77.1 million for the year to the end of March, up by 20% compared with the same period a year ago.

Sales rose 7.7% to more than $556 million, with the bulk of the sales in North America and Europe.

The company, which sells to more than 120 countries, says the strongest growth came from the developing world, but that was from a smaller base.

Based on the New Zealand dollar being between 80 and 85 US cents, Fisher Paykel Healthcare has forecast a profit of $85-$90 million for the 2014 financial year.

Plans to keep boosting research

Chief executive Mike Daniell says the response to its new products has given it confidence. He says the company got off to a good start in the year just reported and that momentum has carried on into the new financial year.

Mr Daniell says manufacturing into Mexico is saving the company money as well as providing a second manufacturing base for security-of-supply reasons.

In the year just reported, Fisher Paykel Healthcare spent $46 million on research and development, which involves around 330 engineers and scientists.

Mr Daniell says the firm plans to continue growing its research and development effort, which is why it needed another building on its Auckland site.

He says they are pleased with changes to the grants scheme which double the amount available to companies that spend a lot on research and development.

Shares in the company rose 17c to $3.20 on Thursday.