UK: More than 1.5 million hearing aids sold in 2014



Once again, the UK has experienced record hearing aid sales, breaking through 1.5 million sales for the first time. This is the fourth year running that UK hearing aid manufacturers have experienced impressive growth.

Official sales statistics from the British Hearing Aid Manufacturers Association show the market increased by 3.9% to an impressive 1,522,434 units for the twelve months.

Sales to hospitals during 2014 increased by 1.8% to 1,265,761; this is the third year the NHS has purchased more than 1 million units during the twelve month period. 2014 sales to UK private hearing aid dispensers increased by 15.6% from 2013 figures, with more than a quarter of a million hearing instruments sold to the private sector (256,673). Of the 156,477 BTEs sold to private hearing aid dispensers, 136,349 were RIC products. RIC sales increased by 28.5% over 2013.

The final few months of the year were strong for the private market, with sales increasing by 16.8% compared to 2013. BTEs increased by 30% to 42,231 units; more than 36,000 were RICs. ITE sales saw a small decrease in the final quarter of the year.

Figures are compiled by the British Hearing Aid Manufacturers Association. The Association currently comprises nine companies - Bernafon UK, GN ReSound, Oticon, Phonak, Puretone, Siemens Hearing Instruments, Starkey Laboratories, Unitron Hearing and Widex - that compete to supply hearing aids to both the independent retail and public sectors.