Smith & Nephew (NYSE:SNN) CEO Olivier Bohuon said today that the British healthcare giant is "still working hard" at finding acquisitions, seeking emerging market opportunities, bolt-ons and early-stage opportunities.
"[W]e are looking forward to acquire distributors in the emerging market. That is our strategy to become closer to the customers and avoid the distributor in the countries," Bohuon said during a conference call discussing Smith & Nephew’s 1st-quarter results.
"We recently have acquired, just to remind you, last year, 2 years ago actually, 2 distributors in Brazil, PCE and Politec. We have acquired, last year, our distributor in Turkey, and we just acquired our distributor in Colombia very recently and we are looking for other opportunities in 2015," Bohuon said. "[W]e are still working a lot on the bolt-on acquisitions. We are looking also for potential deals and we also like to put some money from time to time in some businesses which are far away in terms of …. go to market, but which we believe are important for the potential future of Smith & Nephew. So we invest early in small companies where we believe there is a value to do. And then, we have obviously the classic M&A, so we are always looking at this. We have a clear path."
Smith & Nephew’s M&A moves "are always aligned to the fact that we want to rebalance the company towards higher-growth businesses," he added.
“So that’s why emerging market is important; that’s why ArthroCare was important; that’s why Healthpoint was also critical. And this is why we still believe that we have opportunities in the market to acquire," Bohuon said.
Smith & Nephew, which in February said it would release earnings results only at mid-year and the end of the year, reported 1st-quarter sales of $1.10 billion, a 2.9% increase but below the $1.16 billion expectation on Wall Street. The company stood pat on its prior guidance for the rest of the year.
"We are pleased with our start to 2015 and are on track to make further progress during the year. In particular, we increased Q1 revenue by 22% across the emerging markets and delivered 9% growth in sports medicine joint repair. We completed the integration of ArthroCare and the expected benefits of our strong combined sports medicine portfolio are starting to come through. In reconstruction, strong sales of our Journey II knee system drove 3% growth in U.S. knee Implants, and, through our actions, we delivered an improved advanced wound care performance," Bohuon said in prepared remarks.