Cochlear first half profit increases by 19%

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Cochlear first half profit increases by 19%

Cochlear shrugged off a sharp decline in Chinese government purchases of its core hearing implants to report strong overall momentum in the December half with a 19 per cent higher net profit of $111.4 million.

Sales revenue was up four per cent at $604.4 million.

Earnings per share of $1.94 came in slightly below analyst expectations of $1.96, though the company is tracking toward the upper end of its own guidance for a full-year profit between $210 million and $225 million.

"The positive momentum we have experienced over the past few years has continued into FY17 with strong and consistent growth in units delivered across all regions", chief executive Chris Smith said.

Implant unit sales up 10 per cent globally and 16 per cent excluding sales to the Chinese government.

"The Asia sales were fantastic if you back out the China tender (segment)".

"We are experiencing strong uptake of both products, with a notable uptick in unit growth during the second quarter in those markets", Mr Smith said.

For the half-year, Cochlear sold 1,100 units under the China national government tender, compared to 1,700 units previous year, after the issue of a key tender was delayed.

Cochlear warned that Chinese government tender purchases of implants are now expected to be below last year's level, with a new tender expected during the current quarter.

The company also expects a $1.5 million impact on full-year profit from the reduction in the research and development tax concession rate, announced by the Australian government in September 2016.

The company will pay an interim dividend of $1.30 a share, compared with $1.10 a year ago.

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