Stille AB (Stille), a surgical devices company, has reported total net sales of SEK96.6 million for the full year of 2008, compared with the total net sales of SEK94.9 million in the previous year-end. It has also reported net loss of SEK1.8 million, or SEK0.37 loss per share, for the full year of 2008, compared with the net loss of SEK6.3 million, or SEK1.60 per share, in the previous year-end.
January 1 – December 31, 2008
Operating loss was SEK1.3 (loss: 4.6) million
Operating margin was -1.4 % (-4.9)
Fourth quarter 2008
Net sales totaled SEK26.7 (27.0) million
Operating profit amounted to SEK1.1 (loss: 2.5) million
Operating margin was 4.1 % (-9.4)
Net profit was SEK1.0 (loss: 2.7) million
Loss per share SEK0.20 (loss: 0.55)
Stille hires new chief financial officer (CFO)
Anders Weilandt chief executive officer comments:
During the year we focused on lowering costs, reducing tied up working capital and streamlining production. These initiatives are beginning to show results in the fourth quarter and my assessment is that we have now passed a crucial turning point. At the same time, like most businesses, Stille runs the risk of being adversely affected to varying degrees by the general economy and the current financial crisis. However, the market for medical device products like Stille’s is relatively insensitive to fluctuations in the economy and therefore we believe that Stille may temporarily experience longer processing times for tender processes as well as a shortage of liquidity, limited to a few publicly financed healthcare markets. We also expect that private patients will be less likely to have elective cosmetic plastic surgery, though this only accounts for a small portion of our sales.
In 2008 sales of Sonesta™ increased by over 20 percent, while sales of ImagiQ™ decreased somewhat, because GE Healthcare – Stille’s distributor for ImagiQ™ in the US –could not fully resume sales in 2008. Sales are expected to resume during the first quarter of 2009. In January 2009 we signed a new global supplier agreement with GE Healthcare for marketing ImagiQ™. By expanding our partnership with a major player like GE Healthcare we now have a very good distribution channel for ImagiQ throughout the global market.
While Patient Positioning increased its sales in 2008, Surgery did not succeed in recovering its decreased sales due to the labor dispute at the beginning of the summer involving healthcare personnel in Sweden, which is currently our key market for surgical instruments. With a normalized home market we believe that conditions are favorable for increasing sales in Surgery during 2009.
In summary, we have now systematically reviewed most of our products and processes with the purpose of creating a strong offering and a sustainable business model. We therefore enter the new year with a stronger base than previously for growth – and rising profitability.
Significant events during the period
Stille hires new CFO
Stille AB appointed Lisa-Lotte Carlsson to the position of CFO at a time when the company faces a period of growth and expansion. She began working on December 1, 2008, and was previously CFO at Carl Lamm AB, a publicly traded company.
Significant events after the period
Stille signed global supplier agreement with GE
Stille signed a global supplier agreement with GE Healthcare for Stille’s ImagiQ examination and operating table. The agreement with GE concerns marketing Stille’s ImagiQ operating table in the US and on new markets. GE is already a distributor of ImagiQ in the US.
Related-party transactions Between January 1 – December 31, 2008, the Group purchased consulting services for SEK0.3 million at market-based rates from Grimmeton Consulting Company Ltd, a company to which Bruce Grant is related. Otherwise, the Group has not been involved in any related-party transactions during 2008.
The board proposes that no dividend be paid for the 2008 fiscal year.