Headwinds start to clear for Surgical

Surgeons remove a gallbladder using Surgical's instruments

Keyhole surgery instruments maker Surgical Innovations said it has emerged from a challenging period with improved financial results and a strong balance sheet.

The Leeds-based group said it delivered growth in revenues and profit in the first half of the year despite significant headwinds in the market and regulatory environment, primarily due to the acquisition of Elemental Healthcare a year ago.

Melanie Ross, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, said: “The predominant headwinds were due to the retraction of CELLIS. We got it back a few weeks ago. Now we need to think about how to relaunch that product. It will give us a real upswing in 2019. It’s a fantastic product.”

Two weeks ago, Surgical said its CELLIS range of products used in breast and abdominal wall reconstruction surgery will have its accreditation restored. Formal certification is expected in the next six weeks, which will enable Surgical to resume selling the CELLIS range.

Ms Ross said: “The second part of the headwinds is the NHS. We are definitely seeing signs it’s turning around. The winter flu crisis is now gone and we are seeing funding coming to fruition. We are starting to see really strong signs on the NHS.”

Revenues rose 52 per cent to £5.3m in the six months to June 30, mainly due to the acquisition of Elemental Healthcare. Adjusted EBITDA rose 13.3 per cent to £940,000.

Ms Ross said: “We are targeting growing year on year in the US. We are working really hard with distributors. We have lots to do, but there are lots of reasons to be cheerful.”

“We do think the second half will be stronger. We are confident in our ability to do that.”

The group said its UK distribution business is building a valuable portfolio of specialised products that offer substantial advantages to surgeons.

Ms Ross said: “We’ve worked really hard on product launches. We’re listening to surgeons.

“The resposable concept is very well used in the UK, the US, Japan and a lot of Europe. In the Middle East and Africa, they prefer disposable instruments. We want to mix that up.

“2019 is looking very positive.”

Surgical specialises in making “resposable” instruments which contain long lasting reusable parts and cheap throwaway parts that are only used once.

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