(Reuters) — Denmark’s Coloplast (CPH:COLO B) overcame problems in Britain to post what it described as highly satisfactory growth in its largest market, lifting its shares, though it trimmed 2016 sales guidance on sterling weakness ahead of Britain’s referendum on EU membership.
The company, which makes ostomy bags, wound dressings and penile implants, said it is hiring staff and launching new products in Britain to drive growth, regardless of the referendum outcome.
“We have started to recover market share and are through the challenges of the past financial year. We are very satisfied with that,” CFO Anders Lonning-Skovgaard told Reuters.
The company now expects overall sales growth of 6% to 7% in its 2015/16 financial year, down from an earlier forecast of about 7%, he said, largely because of the weaker pound.
Revenue for the quarter to end-March came in at 3.60 billion Danish crowns ($560.6 million) against a forecast for 3.63 billion in a Reuters poll. The company earned 1.17 billion crowns operating profit, largely matching expectations.
The pound reached long-term lows against the dollar in February after the announcement of a June date for the Brexit referendum on EU membership. A British vote to leave would hurt the economy, an overwhelming majority of economists said in a Reuters poll last month.
Coloplast, which has invested heavily in China in the past 3 years, expects growth to ease as it struggles to retain staff in a highly competitive market for qualified workers.
Lonning-Skovgaard said that Coloplast’s business depends on strong relations with hospitals and nurses and paying higher salaries had helped to halt staff departures.