Net sales dip for Invacare in 2017 as European transformation phase confirmed

Invacare Corporation has announced its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2017, with Matthew E. Monaghan, Chairman, President and CEO, stating "2017 was a tremendous year of progress in our transformation across the company.”

The global manufacturer and distributor of mobility, homecare and long-term care medical products, reported a net $76.5 million in 2017, with sales of $966.5 million for all of the year. In comparison, the company reported a net loss of $42.9 million in 2016, with sales of $1.04 billion.

Despite the rise in net loss, Matthew believes Invacare has made progress towards restoring long-term earnings potential, highlighting that "the company has been executing a multi-year strategic transformation of its overall approach to quality, product mix, commercial execution, supply chain, and product development” in North America.

Citing a number of factors, including significant investment to resize its infrastructure and the launch of 10 new products, Matthew stated: "We have good momentum to build upon in 2018.”

One of the most important factors that promise to drive future growth for the company is the lifting of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 2012 consent decree, allowing Invacare to sell without restrictions from its Elyria, Ohio power wheelchair manufacturing facility,

Following the launch of the Invacare TDX SP2 Power Wheelchair with LiNX Technology in August 2017, net sales for mobility and seating products increased 5.4% in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016 in North America (excluding consumer power products discontinued in the fourth quarter 2016).

In Europe, mobility and seating products were also up for the fourth quarter, however, Matthew cautioned that Europe will gradually undergo the same transformation as applied to North America, potentially reducing net sales in the future, as the company looks to shift its product mix towards clinically valued, higher-margin products.

A key phase of this transformation process in Europe is the transfer of Küschall Wheelchair Production from Switzerland and Sweden to France.

Announced on the 12th February 2018, Invacare plans to transfer production by the end of the third quarter 2018, in a move that the company says will allow it to better optimize its wheelchair manufacturing facility in France.

Matthew commented: "This transfer is another step forward in Phase Two of our transformation, which leverages our existing global infrastructure to reduce costs and further increase efficiencies.

"We are creating a leading European wheelchair manufacturing facility that is centrally located to our European customers. We will maintain the high-quality product standards and great service that our customers have come to expect from us.”

The front office of the Swiss facility will remain open and continue to serve as Invacare’s European headquarters and research and development centre of excellence, as well as the Swiss sales office, confirmed Invacare.

The website for the company is HERE