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Smith & Nephew sales fall faster as surgeries postponded due to coronavirus

Underlying sales fell around 7% in the fourth quarter, compared to 4.2% in the third and 18.7% in the first half

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Smith & Nephew PLC (LON:SN.) reported a deeper decline in revenues for the final quarter of 2020 as surgical procedures were postponed in Europe and the US because of rising cases of coronavirus and ensuing restrictions.

Profit margins will be “substantially” down compared to the prior year, the FTSE 100-listed maker of replacement hips and knees confirmed, as lower volumes were only partially offset by cost control measures.

Full year underlying revenue is expected to have declined roughly 12% after underlying sales fell around 7% in the fourth quarter.

This followed a 4.2% decline in the third quarter and 18.7% in the first half of the year.

The most marked impact on sales in the fourth quarter was on the Orthopaedic Reconstruction, Sports Medicine and ENT businesses, driven by lower levels of elective surgery, the company said, while its Advanced Wound Management and Trauma businesses remained more resilient.

A review of strategic progress will be provided with full-year results, scheduled for February 18, 2021.

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