Hearing solutions company Sonova Holding AG, Stäfa, Switzerland, has announced its results for the first half of fiscal year 2015/16.

Consolidated sales increased by 6.7% in local currencies or 1.3% in reported Swiss francs to CHF 1,003.2 million. Sonova reports that a solid performance in hearing instruments was offset by headwinds from a strong Swiss franc and lower sales in the cochlear implants (CI) segment. The Group EBITA reached CHF 195.8 million, representing an increase of 0.7% in local currencies and was down 9.3% in Swiss francs. Excluding non-hedged currency losses on working capital, the EBITA increased by 4.2% in local currencies on a recurring basis.

Sonova says it is adjusting its outlook for the full year: for the fiscal year ending in March 2016, and the Group now expects sales to grow by 6%-8% and EBITA to rise between 3%-7% or between 7%-11% on a recurring basis, all measured in local currencies.

A few of the highlights reported by Sonova Group for the first half of 2015/16 include group sales of CHF 1,003.2 million – up 6.7% in local currencies and 1.3% in Swiss francs; EBITA of CHF 195.8 million – up 0.7% in local currencies or up 4.2% on a recurring basis, down 9.3% in Swiss francs; Sales of CHF 917.8 million for the Group’s hearing instruments segment, up 8.7% in local currencies, EBITA up by 5.0% in local currencies or up 8.6% on a recurring basis; sales of CHF 85.4 million for its cochlear implants segment, down 11.2% in local currencies, EBITA close to break-even, and operating free cash flow of CHF 147.2 million – up 3.9%, reflecting strong cash conversion.

The full-year 2015/16 outlook revised: the Group now expects sales to grow 6%-8% and EBITA 3%-7% or 7%-11% on a recurring basis, all measured in local currencies (previously: 7%-9% sales and 9%-13% EBITA growth, respectively)

HR Sonova-braunschweiler

Lukas Braunschweiler, CEO at Sonova

“We report a continued solid performance in our hearing instruments business and again achieved a strong operating free cash flow for the first half,” said Lukas Braunschweiler, CEO of Sonova. “Our cochlear implants segment did not fully meet our original expectations, but we are encouraged by an improved momentum towards the end of the reporting period. In addition, our reported results were affected by significant negative currency effects. We are thus adjusting our full-year outlook mainly to reflect the performance of our CI business in the first half, and the impact of currency losses. Despite these challenges, we remain confident to achieve solid earnings growth in the second half of the year and going forward.”

The Group reported that sales in the United States increased by 1.9% in local currency, negatively impacted by the ongoing weakness of its cochlear implants business. The region accounted for 37% of Group sales in the first 6 months of fiscal year 2015/16 up from 35% in the prior year period. A sound performance of its hearing instruments business in the commercial channel was in part offset by lower sales to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The rest of the Americas (excluding the US) posted a solid sales increase of 8.2% in local currencies, while reported sales were held back by the significant decline of major currencies, in particular the Brazilian real and the Canadian dollar, versus the Swiss franc.

Driven by a strong performance in the Group’s hearing instruments segment in Australia, New Zealand, China and Japan, the Asia?/?Pacific region posted a double-digit sales increase with growth reaching 11.9% in local currencies. The contribution to Group sales remained stable at 11%.

Sonova Group reports that it remains committed to pursuing its strategy of profitable growth. Maintaining a high pace of innovation and continuing to expand its market-presence through advanced approaches and solutions are expected to help Sonova further build on its market-leading position and thus allow the Group to achieve sustainable earnings growth in the second half and going forward.

Sonova’s complete Semi-Annual Report 2015/16 is available on the Sonova website. The presentation of the Half-Year Results 2015/16 can also be downloaded from the Sonova website.

Source: Sonova Holding AG; Sonova Group