F&P Healthcare lifts guidance as sales grow – shares rally

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, which makes breathing masks and respirators, lifted its full-year guidance a second time as demand for new breathing masks helps speed sales and margins widen. The shares jumped 6.8 percent on the news.

Net profit would rise be about $75 million in the year ending March 31, up 17  percent from a year earlier, the Auckland-based company says in a statement. That is up from $69 million to $72 million range given in November and the $65 million to $69 million estimate in August.

Sales growth during the second half has been very encouraging, particularly for our respiratory consumables and recently released Eson and Pilairo masks," chief executive Michael Daniell says. "Operating margins has also continued to improve as a result of new products, operating efficiency gains and manufacturing at our Mexico facility."

The company says revenue growth accelerated to 14 percent in constant currency terms in the second half from 8 percent in the first half.

The shares rose 16 cents to $2.50, having fallen about 5 percent this year. The stock is rated 'outperform' based on the consensus of seven analysts polled by Reuters, with a price target of $2.60. It trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of about 18.

The company also announced the introduction of a new full-face mask, the F&P Simplus, for use in treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. It will initially be sold in New Zealand and Australia, before being rolled out in Canada and Europe, followed by the US market once it receives FDA clearance, it says.

(BusinessDesk)

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