William Demant Holdings, the parent company of the Oticon, Sonic, and Bernafon brand of hearing aids, posted a consolidated revenue of approximately $2.1 billion US for 2018 (DKK 13,937 million), according to its 2018 Annual Report. Consolidated revenue for 2018 corresponded to a growth rate of 6%, compared with 2017.
The company reported significant organic growth, which contributed approximately 7 percentage points, while growth from acquisitions contributed 2 percentage points and exchange rate effects with -3 percentage points.
“I am proud of the past year’s results, which confirm that in 2018, we took a big step towards fulfilling our purpose to make life-changing differences through hearing health. We continue our growth trajectory by taking market shares and clearly demonstrating the positive effects on health of our specialised solutions. Not only do we deliver tangible results in the short run – one of the highlights being 12% growth in our Diagnostic Instruments business activity – but we also keep developing our Group for future achievements by investing significantly in all business activities and key areas, such as R&D and digitalisation. With the launch of a new hearing aid platform, Oticon is now ready to go to market with new premium products, taking the pioneering audiology in Oticon Opn even further, and I am confident that we are in good shape to meet our ambitions for 2019.”
–Søren Nielsen, President & CEO of Demant
Highlights from the 2018 Annual Report include:
- Hearing Devices growth in local currencies amounted to 9%. Hearing aid wholesale business delivered a strong performance with organic growth of 9% and thus gained market share in value despite a slowdown in growth towards the end of the year.
- Oticon will over the coming weeks launch new premium products said to deliver even better speech understanding than the company’s Oticon Opn™ thanks to new technologies. The launch will also the group’s first lithium-ion-based rechargeable batteries.
- Bernafon and Sonic brands will launch new product portfolios during the second quarter of 2019, and the company expects to introduce the first Philips-branded hearing solutions to the market in the second quarter of 2019 as well.
- The company’s hearing aid retail business delivered growth of 9% in local currencies mainly driven by acquisitive growth of 8%, whereas organic growth was 1%, however with material differences between markets.
- Hearing Implants business activity delivered 10% underlying organic growth, when adjusting for the decision to reduce activity level in select cochlear implants (CI) markets with lower prices.
- Diagnostic Instruments saw growth of 12% in local currencies, almost entirely attributable to organic growth, and with an estimated market growth rate of around 5%
- Sennheiser Communications, the 50/50 joint venture with Sennheiser KG, delivered strong underlying growth of 25% (46% reported) and materially grew its contribution to the Group’s EBIT to DKK 104 million.
The Demant Group says that it expects to generate organic sales growth above market level in 2019, and accelerating through the year as the company begins to see the impact from new product launches.
William Demant Holding to Change Name to Demant
William Demant Holding A/S proposes to change its name to Demant A/S. At the Annual General Meeting, the Company will ask the shareholders to approve the change of name to Demant. Furthermore, the majority owner of Demant, the Oticon Foundation, intends to change its name to William Demant Foundation.
According to the company’s press release, the change of company name and brand follows the corporate strategy that aims at positioning Demant as the industry’s leading hearing healthcare group, with the purpose to create life-changing differences through hearing health.
The company says the name change will not affect the customers doing business with the companies of the Demant Group. The individual companies will still operate separately but leverage synergies across Demant.
“While we continue our multi-business strategy with independent go-to-market strategies for our company brands, we strengthen the whole Demant Group by offering a shared and compelling corporate story and communication platform. A stronger Demant brand will foremost increase collaboration and belonging across the Group, but also give us a better opportunity to attract the best talents and people to work for one of the group’s many entities”
–Søren Nielsen, President & CEO of Demant
The proposed name change is subject to approval at the Annual General Meeting, which will be held on 19 March 2019. Demant’s majority shareholder, the Oticon Foundation, supports the proposal.
As soon as possible after this official name change, the trade ticker on Nasdaq Copenhagen will be changed to Demant (currently WDH.CO). Otherwise, there will be no changes to the share.