Amplifon, the parent company of Miracle Ear and Elite Hearing Network, and Amplifon Hearing Health Care in the United States, published impressive first-quarter 2019 financial results on Tuesday (May 7), showing outstanding revenue growth of 25.4% (at constant exchange rates) driven by solid organic growth and an large contribution from their mergers & acquisitions (M&A). Amplifon reported consolidated revenues of 392 million euros (US$439 million) in the first quarter of 2019, with above-market organic growth of 3.9% and M&A growth of 21.5%, mostly from the mid-2018 acquisition of the GAES hearing aid dispensing network which is primarily located in Spain and Portugal, as well as other acquisitions in France and Germany.
Recurring EBITDA reportedly rose 30.3% in the quarter to 56.3 million euros (US$63 million), with the margin up 40 basis points compared to the first quarter of 2018, even after the consolidation of GAES and the continuous investments in marketing, which also reflect the change in the perimeter related to the consolidation of GAES. According to the company, the network expansion program continued in the first quarter, both organically and through acquisitions, with the addition of 49 stores. The acquisitions of 34 stores were made mainly in France and Germany for a total cash-out of 14.4 million euros (US$16.1 million).
“We have begun the year with excellent results, characterized by a solid organic growth and an extraordinary contribution from acquisitions, particularly GAES,” said Amplifon CEO Enrico Vita in a press statement. “The integration of GAES is progressing quickly and successfully as shown by the first results which are decidedly better than expectations in terms of both revenues, which showed double-digit growth, and profitability, which improved significantly…We continue to look ahead with great optimism to the execution of the strategic plan for 2020 thanks to the results we expect from our strong innovation program focused on the continuous improvement of the customer experience and, above all, the unique opportunity stemming from the integration of GAES.”
Performance by Region
EMEA. Amplifon says the results achieved in the quarter reflect the solid performance posted in all the geographic areas. The company characterized its growth as outstanding in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Revenues in Europe increased by 31.4% at constant exchange rates.
Americas. Good performance was posted in Americas due to above-market organic growth and the sizeable contribution of acquisitions related to the consolidation. The company reported an increase of 13.9% in local currency and 21.9% at current exchange rates, driven by 3.1% organic growth and 10.8% M&A (mostly from Latin America due to GAES business). Additionally, the foreign exchange effect had a positive impact of 8.0%, and it reportedly had additional contribution from the excellent performance of Miracle-Ear and Canada’s external growth contributed to Americas’ solid performance. According to statistics generated by the Hearing Industries Association (HIA), hearing aid net unit sales in the United States increased by 2.5% during the first quarter of 2019, and by only 1.5% in the commercial/private market.
APAC. Strong growth in revenues (8.6% in local currency) was reported in the Asian-Pacific region that reflects solid organic growth that significantly outpaced the market, taking place mainly in Australia, as well as the contribution made by the first Chinese joint venture. A strong performance was reported in Australia driven by sustained organic growth which accelerated consistently since the beginning of the year. Revenue growth in New Zealand was largely unchanged due to the anniversary of the regulatory change that took place in 2013. Excellent revenue growth in China, supported by a double-digit organic growth reported in M&A.
Amplifon expects the favorable trend in revenues to continue through 2019, outpacing the market, thanks to the contribution of all the geographic areas in which it operates and driven by solid organic growth, as well as the contribution of M&A, particularly GAES. The company also expects to proceed at a steady pace with the execution of its strategic plan for 2020 due to both the integration of GAES and the progressive roll-out of the Amplifon Product Experience in the other core markets.