Markets News

UPDATE 1-Getinge profit soars, but ventilator order growth slows

* Says ventilator order growth less spectacular than in first half

* Will adjust ventilator capacity accordingly

* Unclear when demand for less urgent products will recover

* Shares fall 8% in early trade (Adds detail, background)

STOCKHOLM, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Getinge’s third-quarter profit jumped on strong demand for ventilators and other life support equipment because of COVID-19, but order growth for ventilators slowed from earlier in the pandemic and overall order intake edged down.

Adjusted operating profit before amortisation tripled to 2.03 billion crowns ($228.7 million) from 677 million crowns a year earlier, with margins more than doubling to 25.4% from 10.9% as sales jumped by 33%.

The Swedish group said it delivered more advanced ventilators than it normally does in a year but the pace of sales growth was “less spectacular” than earlier in the pandemic and it would adjust capacity accordingly.

Shares in the company were down 8% in early trade, cutting its increase this year to 8%.

One of the world’s biggest makers of medical ventilators, Getinge has been increasing ventilator production capacity and expects its high delivery rate to continue into next year.

It also said that sales remained strong for life-support equipment for what is known as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and for sterile transfer containers for the pharmaceuticals industry.

However, hospitals have scaled back purchases in less urgent categories during the pandemic and CEO Mattias Perjos said parts of Getinge’s business, such as operation room equipment, continued to be negatively affected by COVID-19.

“Getinge sees an upcoming need for managing the medical care that is being postponed in connection with COVID-19, even though it’s hard to determine exactly when and to what extent,” he said. ($1 = 8.8769 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Anna Ringstrom Editing by David Goodman)