Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, now New Zealand's largest listed company, continues to profit from the Covid-19 pandemic, with operating revenue up 73 per cent over the past nine months.
And it now expects revenue and net profit for the full 2021 financial year to be higher than previously forecast in November. Back then it gave net profit guidance of $400 million to $415m, up from its August forecast of $365m-$385m.
The company wasn't able to put a figure on its revised expectations given uncertainties associated with Covid. The stock gained $1.99, or 6 per cent, to $35.25, giving the company a market cap of $20.3 billion.
The company's non-invasive breathing aids, masks and other hospital hardware products are in hot demand as the virus continues to spread globally.
"In many parts of the world, we have continued to see an influx of Covid-19 patients requiring hospitalisation for respiratory treatment," F&P Healthcare managing director Lewis Gradon said in a market update.
"Healthcare professionals are dealing with pressures unlike anything they have faced before. Our thoughts are with them, the patients under their care, and the families of those who are impacted at this challenging time.
"Given the elevated hospitalisation rates for Covid-19, our hospital hardware sales have continued to be very strong, as has the use of our hospital hardware," Gradon said.
In the Hospital product group, which includes products used in acute and chronic respiratory care and surgery, operating revenue grew 113 per cent over the first nine months of the previous financial year in constant currency.
Over this same period, Hospital hardware grew 446 per cent and hospital consumables grew 54 per cent.
In the Homecare product group, which includes products used in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and respiratory support in the home, operating revenue grew 6 per cent over the nine months to December 31, 2020, in constant currency.
"Given the significant uncertainties associated with the course of Covid-19, the effectiveness or adoption of preventative measures, the progress of vaccines and their outcomes and the impact on future hospitalisation rates, we have no basis on which to provide formal guidance to results for the full 2021 financial year."
The company said there was significant variability on a month-to-month basis for both Hospital hardware and consumables revenue.
"The revenue assumptions provided on November 25 for Hospital hardware sales and usage for FY2021 are now outdated. The company currently expects revenue and net profit after tax for the 2021 financial year to be higher than implied by those previous assumptions."