S&N’s Hull division thriving

SMITH & Nephew, Europe’s leading maker of artificial hips and knees, says its Hull-headquartered advanced wound management business is thriving, “growing at twice the market rate”.

The division, which develops treatments for hard-to-heal wounds, employs around 800 staff in Hull. Smith & Nephew yesterday reported a trading profit of $207m in its third quarter, up from $205m a year previously.

Chief executive Olivier Bohuon said the firm’s “efficiency improvements” have helped to offset the impact of ongoing tough conditions in Europe, while it has continued to make good progress in emerging markets.

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But, revenue in the quarter to September 29, 2012, was $952m, down from $1,032m a year ago.

Operating profit was down year-on-year from $191m to $187m. Trading profit margins have increased from 19.8 per cent to 21.7 per cent.

Mr Bohuon said: “Smith & Nephew’s strategic priorities are about making choices for the long-term benefit of our business, by allocating resources to the areas where we can achieve the greatest returns. I am confident that by following this strategy we are shaping the group to respond to the market conditions and opportunities we face.”

Adrian Hennah, currently chief financial officer at Smith & Nephew, will join drugs and hygiene giant Reckitt Benckiser, which also has operations in Hull, at the end of December. He will take up the position of CFO, replacing Liz Doherty. Smith & Nephew is on the hunt for a new CFO and a spokesman told the Yorkshire Post yesterday the company is seeing “some very strong candidates as we expected”.