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F&P Healthcare looks into surgery development

By Holly Ryan

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare chief executive Mike Daniell says the company has been applying its technology to surgery. Photo / Dean Purcell
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare chief executive Mike Daniell says the company has been applying its technology to surgery. Photo / Dean Purcell

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare -- which has announced a 26 per cent increase in full-year profit -- is looking to diversify into new areas.

The company posted a net profit of $97.1 million in the year ended March 31.

Chief executive Mike Daniell said the company would be looking to further development areas, including surgery.

"We've got a pretty exciting opportunity in surgery.

"We've been applying our technology to that area and to helping improve outcomes for patients undergoing laproscopic surgery.

"We're also seeing opportunities in open surgery where we might be able to reduce post-surgical complications," Daniell said.

Daniell admitted the move was "quite a new field" for the company, but said they had been able to take some of their current technology and apply it to the surgical area.

According to Daniell, an ageing population as well as increased spending in the healthcare sector had helped boost the company's success over the years.

"There is a big untapped number of patients we can help who are there already, and this number in total is growing every year because of the demographic.

"Healthcare spending is also increasing every year. In fact, China last year announced that they were going to triple their spending on healthcare between 2013 and 2020, and this is happening globally."

Daniell said further investment research and development (R&D), which had increased by 18 per cent this year to $54.1 million, would be focused on new products and improvements in the respiratory area, as well as expanding further into surgical opportunities.

"R&D is fundamental obviously to what we do. We're all about improving care and outcomes, efficiency and effectiveness of care and the only way to do that is to have better devices and systems that can do that," he said.

F&P Healthcare posted a 12 per cent gain in operating revenue from its respiratory humidification products to $336.9 million, and a 15 per cent increase in obstructive sleep apnoea products to $270 million.

The company will pay a dividend of 7c a share on July 4.

Craigs Investment Partners private wealth research analyst Mark Lister said the company had battled a high kiwi dollar.

"One thing that is important to note is that the New Zealand dollar was strong late last year, so that was really the only thing that held them back from releasing a result better than [our] expectations."

He said guidance for 2015 stated profit would be the same as this year.

Its shares closed up 6c at $4.23.

- additional reporting BusinessDesk

- NZ Herald

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