William Demant Holding Group, the parent company of Oticon, Bernafon, Sonic, and other brands, issued its first quarter 2012 report to stockholders, discussing hearing aid trends and its market outlook in various countries.

Unit sales for hearing aids saw positive development in the first quarter of the year and are in line with Demant’s expectations of a rise in revenue of 5% to 9%, and an expected increase in operating profits (EBIT).

The company also indicated that its growth was driven by stable development in the increase in the elderly population and, to a minor degree, by “macro-economic trends.”

The American hearing aid market saw growth of 4% to 5% in the first 3 months of the year, which is a slight increase on the historic growth rate. The demand by both the private sector and Veterans Affairs (VA) contributed to the positive trend.

The European division also saw positive unit growth in most major markets, although there were periodic fluctuations from country to country. The fluctuations are partly due to a number of countries in Southern and central Europe being affected by harsh winter weather in February. In overall terms, growth in Europe was slightly below growth in the United States.

For Japan, the company sees a growth rate of 2% to 4% for the year, corresponding to historic growth rates and rebounding from last year’s earthquake and tsunami.

The company also reports that its recently introduced Oticon Intigai, an IIC instrument (Invisible Inside the Canal) has received a very good reception, as well as a new Bernafon and Sonic offerings.

William Demant Holding Group