Substantial growth for Sonova Holding AG


Lukas Braunschweiler, Sonova
Lukas Braunschweiler, CEO of Sonova

Sonova has announced a sales increase of 15.6% for the year to March 2017, reaching CHF 2,395 million for the 12 month period. This impressive growth came from progress across all businesses, but predominantly from acquisitions, with AudioNova added to the books in September 2016. Profits increased by 11.8% in Swiss Francs, with EBITA reaching CHF 481.4 million.

Retail and wholesale hearing instrument sales accounted for sales of CHF 2,190.3 million and Cochlear Implants totalled CHF 205.4 million. Organic growth driven by hearing instruments and cochlear implants was 4.3%. Sales in Europe, Middle East and Africa increased by 33.8% in local currencies; good progress was noted in the UK, the Nordics, France and Italy. Sonova recognises that European wholesale hearing instrument sales development was negatively affected by the AudioNova acquisition, mainly impacting sales in Germany for the first half of the year.

Sonova business in the United States only grew 1% in local currencies in the last twelve months. The Sonova press statement acknowledges that this growth was due to the second half of the year performance of the Phonak brand, with Unitron declining and no growth in the Sonova US retail network. The group expects this to change with a new platform introduction from Unitron ready for the new fiscal year and a streamlining program in the retail business due to be completed. The US represents 33% of total sales.

Acquisitions increased the overall sales figure by 11.8%, adding CHF 244.6 million to sales. The majority of this increase is from seven months of AudioNova sales. AudioNova also increased Sonova’s share of retail revenue with higher gross margins which lifted their gross profit margin to 68.9% (from 66.4%). Sonova expects consolidated sales to grow between 10% and 12% for 2017/2018, with EBITA rising between 10% and 14%.

Lukas Braunschweiler, CEO of Sonova, says: “Today’s results and our strong track record are further evidence of the successful execution of the Group’s strategy and transformation to a fully integrated business model. With the acquisition of AudioNova, we achieved another major milestone on this journey. At the same time, we vigorously continued to set new industry and technology standards including the introduction of an extensive portfolio of rechargeable hearing solutions across all our product brands. Particularly well received by our customers was the Phonak Audéo™ B-R, our first hearing aid based on innovative lithium-ion technology. We are further building on our leadership and 70-year history of innovation with the soon to be launched new 2.4 GHz wireless technology, which will support, among other things, unparalleled direct connectivity with Bluetooth® enabled mobile and smartphones. I am therefore convinced that we are well-placed for the continued success of the Group.”