Profits at medical technology group Smith and Nephew beat both analysts' and management forecasts in the first quarter of 2012, which it said was down to the actions being taken to reshape the company.
Trading profit in the three months to March 31st increased by 5% year-on-year to $252m. US broker Jefferies had estimated a figure closer to $235m. Meanwhile, the trading profit margin improved by 50 basis points to 23.3%.
Meanwhile, revenue totalled $1,079m, 2% above the $1,055m reported in the first quarter of 2011. The underlying growth was 3%.
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The Advanced Surgical Devices and Advanced Wound Management divisions both saw growth in revenue, profit and margins in the period.
Established markets (US, Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand) increased revenue by 2%, while the Emerging and International Markets saw growth of 12%.
"2012 is a critical year for implementing our new strategic priorities," said Chief Executive Officer Olivier Bohuon. "Our plans to progress the structural changes, additional investments and, of course, greater efficiencies, are now underway. Throughout Smith & Nephew, at every level, there is a clear sense of direction, as we work to reshape the group for future growth."
Among these 'strategic priorities', the group said it is continuing to invest in improving efficiency and has commenced a significant Process Optimisation project in Europe.
Net debt fell to just $28m from $351m.
Shares were 3.14% higher at 624.5p in early trading on Thursday.
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