Cochlear returns to profit, but investors still wary

Hearing implants maker Cochlear has posted a $77.7 million profit for the six months to December 31, a sharp recovery from the same time last year when it made a costly mass recall.

In a statement Cochlear CEO Chris Roberts said the result was largely due to the company selling a record 13,672 impants over the last six months.

“Cochlear implant sales grew 27 per cent on the previous corresponding period and 11 per cent on the second half of fiscal 2012, confirming our market leadership position,” he said.

While it was a significant turnaround for the company the result was lower than the underlying profit of $80.1 million posted last year, which excluded the recall.

Investors reacted poorly to the result and shares were down more than four per cent in early trading.

A year earlier Chochlear posted a $20.4 million loss when it was forced to recall the CI500 series hearing implant.

The recall followed a string of failures for the product after water entered the device through tiny cracks.

In annoucing its earnings the Sydney-based manufacturer said while sales had increased it was facing significant challenges with the appreciation of the Australian dollar.

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