Cochlear powers out of Covid bigger than before

Hearing implant manufacturer Cochlear has finally shaken off the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on cochlear implant surgeries, notching up a sales revenue increase of 10 percent to reach a record $1.6 billion in FY22.

During the pandemic implant surgeries stalled in all markets including China and the United States, with the company now seeing sales above pre-pandemic levels from pent up demand.

Underlying net profit rose 18 percent, underpinning the acquisition for $170 million of one of its competitors during the year – Oticon Medical which brought with it a new customer base.

CEO Dig Howitt told the company’s annual general meeting: “(The acquisition) followed Demant’s decision to exit its hearing implant business.

“As part of the transaction we have committed to providing ongoing support for Oticon Medical’s base of approximately 75,000 hearing implant recipients.”

Cochlear sold about 40,000 hearing devices in FY22, with Oticon patients representing a new market for Cochlear’s hardware, software and app-based technologies.

“The acquisition will provide us with greater scale and will enable us to increase our investments in R&D and market growth activities.”

The company expects underlying net profit growth of between five and 10 percent during the current year – even before the acquisition – based on services and its manufacture of both Cochlear implants and bone conduction acoustic hearing devices.

As always, innovation continues to be a driver of Cochlear’s success and global market share of more than 60 percent. During the year Cochlear invested more than $200 million on R&D, introducing a number of new and upgraded products.

The Cochlear Nucleus 8 Sound Processor, which is smaller and lighter than its predecessor, achieved the European CE Mark approval, while the Cochlear Baha 6 Max Sound Processor experienced strong demand since its launch.

Also in late 2021 the company introduced the Cochlear Nucleus 7 S and Nucleus 7 SE Sound Processors across emerging markets.

Howitt said: “Looking to the coming years, we are excited about the development pipeline.

“We have a full suite of new products and services being developed that aim to improve hearing outcomes even further and integrate even more seamlessly into the lives of our recipients.”

Picture: Cochlear

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