NHS equipment supplier bitten by import costs but investment deal steadies ship

Hill-Rom Ltd, which is a major equipment supplier to the NHS, has increased its revenue after it secured a large capital deal but it has been impacted by the costs associated with importing products from abroad.

The company, whose parent group is based in the US, grew its turnover by 8% to £25m in 2017, which is the first sales increase the business has seen since 2014, according to its latest financial report.

But its operating profit dropped by 25% to £350,000 because of the continuing challenges associated with sourcing most of its products from mainland Europe and the US.

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Hill-Rom’s directors’ strategic report stated that the company is “aggressively investing” to ensure its position in the equipment market.

In a review of the business for 2017, the report said: “Despite a challenging year in the healthcare environment, Hill-Rom Ltd produced an 8% increase in our total sales during 2017, mainly from a large capital deal.

“With sourcing most of our products from mainland Europe or the USA, profitability was impacted by the decline in the GB pound compared to 2016 as the standard cost of our products incurred double-digit growth.”

The BHTA-approved global supplier has made the NHS its largest UK customer and it provides a range of products including hoists, slings, beds and bariatric solutions.

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