Ottobock: ‘Product sales will pick up as backlog in patient care starts to clear’

Otto Bock

The CEO of medical tech and wheelchair giant Ottobock has vowed the company will “emerge stronger” from the downturn caused by coronavirus even if the “dynamic” growth it had anticipated in 2020 now looks difficult to attain.

The health sector globally has directed all its efforts towards dealing with the Covid-19 virus, leaving regular patient care regimes reduced or suspended.  

Philipp Schulte-Noelle, boss of the Germany-based outfit, said Ottobock was still waiting to see what sort of affect it would have on its sales.

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At the start of the year, Ottobock had set out to achieve a strong increase in turnover and a higher than average rise in underlying EBITDA.

“We were on track to reach these goals in the initial months,” he explained. “However, the coronavirus pandemic severely limited patient care in the key sales markets from March onwards, almost halting it completely at times. The exact impact on the development of sales and results cannot be assessed yet.

“Once the situation normalises and patient care accelerates again, the company expects the backlog to have positive effects.”

Financial results published by the firm last month reveal that Ottobock racked up record sales of €1 billion (£880m) last year, an increase of 8% year-on-year.

It is the first time in the company’s 100-year operation that it has exceeded the billion euro threshold.

Mr Schulte-Noelle said he is confident that the company is well-placed to bounce back as markets around the world start to reopen.

“Thanks to the robust nature of our business model and the great dedication of our employees, customers and stakeholders – all of whom I would like to thank – I am convinced that we will emerge stronger from this situation. We stand by our 2022 medium-term planning and are preparing for the end of the respective shut-downs around the world.”

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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