Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (FPH) has outperformed its
half-year financial expectations and upgraded its full-year
profit guidance to about $70 million, a rise of between $3
million and $4 million.
FPH's after-tax profit for the half-year to September rose
18% to $33.3 million, operating revenue from sales hit a
record $266.9 million, up 6% on a year ago, and its gross
margin widened from 52.5% to 54.3%, from cost savings.
FPH is paying a fully imputed 5.4c dividend and its share
price was up 9c at $2.53 after yesterday's announcement.
Craigs Investment Partners broker Peter McIntyre said the
first-half result was "solid", partly reflecting a balance
sheet benefit from the fall in the value of the euro from
0.66 in August to 0.638 by the end of September.
Also contributing were stronger sales in FPH's respiratory
and acute care products, up 11% in revenue, and its
obstructive sleep apnoea products, up 3%, he said.
Forsyth Barr broker Haley Van Leeuwen said the result was
slightly ahead of market expectations and was an important
indicator for FPH's business, in that the gross margin band
"The last few years has been tough for their business.
However, the latest result does feel like they are creating
some underlying momentum." FPH chief executive Michael
Daniell said for the 2013 financial year, assuming current
exchange rates for the remainder of the year, operating
revenue was expected in a range of $545 million to $555
million, and after-tax profit in a $69 million to $72 million
"That represents a $3 million to $4 million improvement on
the guidance we provided at our annual shareholders' meeting
in August," Mr Daniell said.
Mr McIntyre said the major driver of the profit upgrade was a
lift in the company's overall sales expectations in the
second-half trading towards 15%, particularly for sleep
During the half-year, research and development expenses
increased 7% over the previous year to $21.3 million,
representing 8% of operating revenue.
"FPH have begun grabbing investors' attention. They have
performed well for this [reported] half but have been seen as
underperforming for the past two years," he said.
The company was now coping well with the high currency, had
product developments under way, was managing its inventory
better and had sales climbing, Mr McIntrye said.