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Sonova lifts outlook, says grabbed market share from rivals in first half

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By Reuters

ZURICH (Reuters) – Sonova <SOON.S> lifted its full-year 2019/2020 sales and profit outlook on Tuesday after the Swiss hearing aid maker said a new device took market share from rivals in the first half.

Sonova now expects sales to grow by 8-10%, up from the previous 6-8% forecast, and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation to rise 12-15%, better than its previous forecast of 9-13%, measured in local currencies.

First-half net income rose to 358 million Swiss francs ($361.80 million), up from 193.4 million in the year-ago period as the company got help from tax changes in Switzerland. Sales rose 12% in local currencies to 1.43 billion francs.

Sonova is leaning heavily on its newest hearing aid, the Marvel, which allows direct transfer of telephone calls, music or video content via Bluetooth to both ears. Demand from big customers including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in May, as well as a new private label contract with a large U.S. hearing aid retailer, also pushed revenues higher.

“Phonak Marvel, the most successful launch in the company’s history, was a key driver for the strong increase in the Hearing Instruments,” Chief Executive Arnd Kaldowski said in a statement, adding organic growth reached 11% in the period.

Rival Danish hearing aid maker Demant <DEMANT.CO> said on Monday that it expected to generate organic sale growth in line with the market in 2019, a downgrade from its previous outlook of growing faster than the market.

(Reporting by John Miller; editing by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi)