Smith & Nephew plc‘s net profits rose 73 percent during the third quarter, despite a slight downturn in revenues, as the company’s cost-cutting measures bore fruit.
The British orthopedics giant posted sales of $915 million during the three months ended Sept. 26, down 1.6 percent compared with $930 million during the same period last year.
Despite that slide, third-quarter net profits rose to $128 million from $74 million during Q3 2008, on the strength of SNN’s cost-cutting program.
Sales for the company’s Andover, Mass.-based endoscopy business ticked up 1 percent to $195 million, paced by strong sales for its repair segment but offset by weak capital equipment sales. In the U.S., the units sales fell by 8 percent; in Europe, endoscopy sales rose 9 percent. Worldwide sales for the segment grew 13 percent.
Smith & Nephew chalked the stagnant growth up to a 21 percent decline in sales of imaging equipment, which suffered from the slow capital expenditures market.
Sales for the company’s core orthopedics segment were flat at $503 million, up 1 percent in the U.S., down 3 percent in Europe and up 1 percent worldwide.
CEO David Illingworth told analysts on a conference call (PDF) that some of the declines were due to patients electing to defer procedures because of the economic downturn.
“We continue to see a disproportionate impact of deferrals of procedures in our younger, more active patient segment and anticipate that this will continue at least until consumer confidence returns,” Illingworth said.
Smith & Nephew’s advanced wound management division saw sales rise 3 percent, to $217 million, which it said was in line with overall market growth.