Earnings take a dive at Invacare

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

LAKE FOREST, Calif. - Medicare reimbursement cuts beat up Invacare in the first quarter of this year.
On April 27, the company reported that net earnings for the quarter, excluding a pretax charge related to restructuring, were $7.6 million vs. $13.5 million during the same period last year. Including the charge, net earnings were $5.2 million. Net sales for the quarter decreased 2% to $361.7 million vs. $370.9 million last year.
Invacare attributed the decline in performance to, among other things, continuing Medicare reimbursement pressures and uncertainties, and price reductions driven by low-cost Asian products. In addition, interest expenses increased due to higher interest rates.
"As a result of these negative impacts, we continue to be focused on cost reduction," said Invacare CEO Mal Mixon.
In North America, sales of rehab products, including acquisitions, increased 5% for the quarter. Sales of standard products decreased 7% for the quarter, with particular weaknesses in manual wheelchairs and patient aids due to low-cost Asian imports driving price reductions.