Copenhagen, 2017-02-09 06:59 CET (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --
12% revenue growth and 14% earnings growth – delivered on guidance
Revenue increased by 12% to DKK 8,651 million. Organic growth was 6%
EBITA reached DKK 1,583 million, equivalent to a 14% increase, driven by strong revenue growth
Cash generation was strong in 2016. Cash conversion reached 74%, an increase of 30 percentage points compared to 2015
DKK 1.4 billion was returned to shareholders as dividends and share buybacks
With the launch of the new strategy for 2017-2019 “Hear More, Do More, Be More”, GN targets to continue to deliver strong profitable growth
In the last year of the strategy period 2014-2016, INNOVATION & GROWTH, GN again delivered strong profitable growth in both GN Hearing and GN Audio. GN entered 2017 stronger than ever and is well positioned to execute on the strategy for 2017 - 2019 “Hear More, Do More, Be More”. This strategy will reinforce innovation, commercial and people excellence and expand GN’s share of the hearing aid and headset markets.
In 2016, GN strengthened its unique market position in medical, professional and consumer segments with industry leading ReSound Smart Hearing aid technology and cutting-edge Jabra headsets. With its purpose to make life sound better, GN will continue to drive hearing aid and headset performance with its flagship brands ReSound and Jabra. The GN Group’s new brand proposition expresses the benefits that the products and solutions under the ReSound and Jabra brands offer to users: Intelligent audio solutions that let you hear more, do more and be more than you ever thought possible.
In 2016, GN Hearing gained market share for the 6th consecutive year underlining the continuing strong momentum. Strong commercial execution led to revenue growth driven by the flagship product ReSound LiNX2.
GN Hearing further strengthened its focus and strategic direction as a dedicated hearing instrument company; GN Hearing strengthened its footprint in North America with the acquisition of Audigy Group, a preeminent provider of business and performance management solutions to independent hearing care professionals and leading University programs. GN Hearing signed an agreement to divest Otometrics to Natus Medical and at the same time formed a strategic partnership with Natus Medical.
In 2016, GN Audio continued to deliver outstanding performance with increasing revenue and earnings. This was driven by a leading product portfolio and relentless focus on commercialization.
GN Audio achieved significant market share gains in the important CC&O market with strong growth across geographies and channels.
GN Audio improved its presence in North America in 2016 with the acquisition of VXi Corporation, a leading innovative US based manufacturer of professional headset solutions.
Financial highlights Q4 2016
GN Store Nord recorded 10% revenue growth in Q4 2016, of which 3% was organic. EBITA increased by 21% to DKK 593 million as the EBITA margin increased by 2.2 percentage points
GN Hearing’s revenue increased by 10% in Q4 2016. Organic growth was 1% despite a tough comparison base in Q4 2015. EBITA increased by 18% to DKK 361 million, with the EBITA margin reaching 26.0% compared to 24.2% in Q4 2015
GN Audio delivered an increase of 11% in revenue in Q4 2016, where 6% was organic growth, driven by strong performance in the CC&O business. EBITA increased by 20% to DKK 253 million, with the EBITA margin reaching 22.6% compared to 20.9% in Q4 2015
Shareholder returns – Dividend and share buybacks proposal
At the annual general meeting on 14 March 2017, the Board of Directors will propose a dividend of DKK 1.15 per share, compared to DKK 0.99 in 2015, equivalent to DKK 178 million for the financial year 2016.
As part of the recently announced 2017 - 2019 strategy, the Board of Directors also intends to undertake a share buyback program of total DKK 3 billion. The first part of the program, a DKK 1 billion one year program, will be proposed at the upcoming annual general meeting.
Financial guidance 2017
GN expects to continue to deliver solid organic revenue in 2017 driven by the cornerstones of the strategy for 2017 - 2019: Innovation, Commercial and People Excellence. The topline growth is expected to translate into continued strong profitability levels in both GN Hearing and GN Audio.
The financial guidance for 2017 is closely linked to the recently announced financial targets for the strategy period 2017 - 2019. In the period, GN Hearing expects annual organic revenue growth of 6 - 8% with an EBITA margin of 20 - 22% and GN Audio expects annual organic revenue growth of 6 - 9% with an EBITA margin of 17 - 19%.
Guidance for 2017:
Organic revenue growth
Effective tax rate
EBITA in Other is expected to be around DKK (125) million. The costs primarily reflects costs from Group Functions including new business opportunities and research projects.
In 2017, GN Store Nord expects a mid-teens percent increase in earnings per share (EPS).
Quotes from executive management
Anders Hedegaard, CEO of GN Hearing, said: “For the 6th consecutive year, GN Hearing gained market share in a hearing aid market that in 2016 was very competitive. This achievement was driven by our ability to drive commercial excellence through our market leading innovative product portfolio. In 2016, we also laid the foundation for an even more focused hearing instrument company with the strategic acquisition of Audigy and the divestment of Otometrics”.
René Svendsen-Tune, CEO of GN Audio, said: “In 2016, GN Audio continued to deliver strong revenue and earnings growth through an exceptionally strong CC&O performance. We have gained significant market share as a result of our innovative product portfolio as well as effective commercial execution. Also, we further strengthened our position in the important North American market with the acquisition of VXi Corporation”.
Marcus Desimoni, CFO of GN Store Nord, said: “In 2016, we delivered on our full year guidance. Our stated commitment to deliver cash flow and cash conversion in line with our peers was also achieved in 2016. Earnings per share expansion was very strong. In line with our commitment to ensure attractive shareholder returns, we returned a total of DKK 1.4 billion to shareholders as a combination of dividends and share buybacks”.
GN Store Nord will host a teleconference at 11.00 a.m. CET today. Please visit www.gn.com to access the teleconference. Presentation material will be available on the website prior to the start of the teleconference.
For further information please contact:
VP – Investor Relations & Treasury
GN Store Nord A/S
Tel: +45 45 75 87 16