WSA announced that it generated strong revenue and earnings growth in the financial year 2020/21 ending September 30, 2021. WSA grew revenue organically by 22% to pass the EUR 2 billion mark (USD $2.3 billion) and simultaneously delivered a historically strong normalized EBITDA of EUR 464 million (USD $524 million) – an increase of 40% compared to the year before, according to the announcement.
This is in line with the company’s expectations for the year, which were to generate organic growth of at least 20% and increase normalized EBITDA to at least EUR 460 million (USD $519 million) in 2020/21.
Highlights full year 2020/21
- Revenue increased to EUR 2,053 million with organic growth of 22% compared to 2019/20.
- Normalized EBITDA increased by 40% to EUR 464 million (USD $524 million) for the full year with a normalized EBITDA margin of 23% – a 4%-point increase compared to the year before.
- Strong performance in Europe, China, and the US supported by continued innovations with a number of “world-first launches” throughout the year.
- 22% organic growth in wholesale and 21% organic growth in consumer-facing channels (retail, online, and managed care).
- Acquisitions of Israeli diagnostics equipment company Koalys and retailer My Hearing Centers with 110 points of sale in the US.
- Merger integration on track with “significant progress” and largely complete.
- In the outlook for 2021/22, WSA expects high single-digit organic revenue growth plus an additional 2%-points growth from acquisitions. Normalized EBITDA is expected to exceed EUR 500 million (USD $564 million).
“Our dedicated employees steered WS Audiology safely and successfully through the challenges of the past financial year, and I’m proud that we have been able to deliver such strong results. Our constant focus on innovation has kept our momentum going, and the learnings from the first wave of COVID-19 ensured great operational resilience and agility in the organization,” said CEO of WSA, Eric Bernard.
Chair of WSA, Marco Gadola, added: “It has been an eventful financial year, but we have managed to successfully navigate all the uncertainties and remained focused on our strategic priorities. And even as last year’s challenges will continue during the current financial year, we will do our utmost to grow WSA further and bring wonderful sound to even more people.”
The year was characterized by several “world-first innovations” like the new Signia AX platform using two processors to differentiate between speech and the sounds from the surrounding environment, and Signia Active Pro, a hearing aid shaped like an earbud aimed at younger consumers.
The Widex brand also launched new products like the rechargeable Widex Moment BTE RD and the Widex Moment CIC micro, both delivering the “most natural sound through the Widex Moment platform,” as well as artificial intelligence updates and android connectivity to the Widex MySound app.
“The foundation of WSA is innovation. Not just in terms of products and features, but also in terms of aesthetics, design, consumer journeys, and digital connectivity. In the past year we have once again proved that we are a leader in innovation, constantly improving and expanding the hearing aid category,” said Bernard.
The strong financial performance was driven by both the wholesale and consumer-facing divisions, which saw organic growth of 22% and 21% respectively, underlining the strength of WSA’s multi-brand, multi-channel strategy, according to the company’s announcement.
2020/21 also saw a strengthening of this strategy with the acquisition of Israeli based diagnostics equipment company Koalys, which “further reinforces WSA’s leading position in tele-audiology and diagnostic solutions.” WSA also acquired US-based My Hearing Centers, which expands the retail footprint in the US. After the end of the financial year, WSA also acquired the Chinese, hearing aid e-commerce retailer LongKang.
“Our goal is to increase access to and awareness of hearing health. These acquisitions will increase our reach and help us further in fulfilling our purpose of delivering ‘Wonderful Sound for All’,” said Bernard.
Despite the uncertainties presented by COVID and the global supply situation, WSA sees “good organic revenue growth in the year ahead as well as an increase in normalized EBITDA,” the company said.
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