As a global market leader in non-invasive orthopaedics, Össur maintained its market position as the second largest player in both prosthetics and bracing & supports in the year 2019.
Sales amounted to USD 378 million and grew by 7% organic.
We continued to see good performance in prosthetics with growth above estimated market growth. High-end products such as our carbon-fiber mechanical feet products and bionics continued to deliver strong growth in the segment globally. Growth in other product categories was also good during the year. Growth in EMEA was strong across the main markets. In the Americas, growth was good even though sales in the United States were impacted by lower than expected sales to a certain customer in the fourth quarter of the year. The impact is largely considered to be of a temporary nature. Growth in APAC was excellent with strong growth across the emerging markets.
Sales of bionic products amounted to 23% of prosthetics component sales, compared to 22% in 2018. The increase between years is attributed to strong performance of bionic products.
New prosthetic products introduced to the market during the year include, among others, the new PROPRIO FOOT. The product is the latest generation of the world’s first bionic ankle that offers enhanced features designed to reduce the risk of stumble and falls, and automatically detects the terrain, adjusting the ankle position in real-time. Other products launched during the year were additions to the portfolio upper-limb prosthetics and lower-limb carbon fiber feet.
Sales amounted to USD 308 million and grew by 3% organic.
High-end products such as the Rebound and Unloader product lines were the main growth drivers in the segment globally. Growth in EMEA and Americas was good, however sales were impacted by a competitive market environment in France and the United States. Growth in APAC continues to be strong.
New bracing & supports products introduced to the market during the year include, among others, the new Unloader One X. The product is the latest in Össur’s range of clinically proven OA knee braces that is designed to be effortless to wear and easy to use. Other products launched during the year include additions to our portfolio of collars and knee bracing.
As pioneers of advanced technology, we believe in “Life Without Limitations“ and 2019 was once again a year filled with exciting milestones and achievements.
As we look back on another successful year our customers and end-users continue to be top of mind. While the business continues to expand, we remain steadfast in our commitment to innovation and bringing new products and services to the market. In 2019 we launched more than 25 products and several incremental updates within both the prosthetic and bracing & supports segments. Our Bionic product portfolio benefited from the introduction of the new bionic ankle PROPRIO FOOT as well as the i-Limb Wrist, the first-ever wrist rotator of its kind. It’s very rewarding to see how well the new PROPRIO FOOT has been received in the market. Our team of dedicated engineers and scientists, partnerships with academic and clinical institutions, and an overarching desire to constantly improve and further develop our product portfolio has meant that we are able to successfully maintain our position as an innovation leader in our industry.
Another highlight of the year from a product perspective was the launch of the highly anticipated Unloader One X knee brace. Osteoarthritis (OA) is a growing epidemic and effective treatment can often be challenging as it is a long-term, incurable condition. The Unloader One X is the latest in Össur’s range of flagship OA braces and is based on biomechanical principles that have been tried and tested over twenty years. We will continue to build awareness for the clinical efficacy and cost effectiveness of knee bracing as a treatment option for OA patient, as we strongly believe not only in the product but also in the overall health economics that bracing has to offer.
It was equally exciting to see our products, end-users and employees receive global recognition in prestigious media outlets such as BBC, Forbes, TIME Magazine, Nature Medicine and more. At the heart of it all is a simple yet powerful message; Life Without Limitations.
Össur celebrated many milestones and achievements in 2019, one of them being our 20-year anniversary as a publicly listed company. To say the Company has evolved since its original listing in Iceland in 1999 would be an understatement. Utilizing the drive and determination that comes from our entrepreneurial roots we have delivered a 20% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) the last twenty years. Through a healthy combination of organic growth and acquisitions, Össur has gone from being a niche player in the prosthetics industry to a global leader in non-invasive orthopedics. From 120 employees in 1999 to about 3,500 in 26 countries around the world at year-end 2019. A sought-after employer, business and clinical partner with continued growth on the horizon.
The 2019 financials were strong with organic sales growth of 5% and our EBITDA margin before special items amounted to 22%. Strong sales growth was primarily driven by excellent performance in the prosthetics segment and high-end solutions in both business segments. Favorable changes in the product mix and savings from ongoing efficiency initiatives continue to have a positive impact on profitability.
I am extremely proud to have led the Company during this transformational time. Former US President John Quincy Adams once said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” I, however, have no doubt that the end-users of our products are what drives all of us at Össur to dream more, learn more and do more every single day.
My sincere thanks to our employees, customers, end-users, and shareholders for making 2019 a great year for Össur. Our shared passion for improving people’s mobility will ensure continued success as we embark on a new decade.
President and CEO
The Musician and the Professor: Passion and Profession. These are just two of the many sides of Prof. Dr. Bertolt Meyer. He lives in Leipzig and seamlessly navigates between the factual world of the university on the one hand and the artistic world on the other. Confident and out of the box, Bertolt Meyer is a performer who loves and lives diversity - whether behind the turntable or the podium.
Recently, Meyer and a colleague published a study which shows how new bionic technology can change the stereotypes towards the disabled. “We can see that people wearing a bionic prosthetic are perceived completely different. Almost exactly like able bodied people. Bionic technology therefore offers a high value both functionally and psychologically.”
Prof. Dr. Bertolt Meyer was born without his left forearm due to a rare condition called Dysmelia. He uses a bionic hand prosthesis to compensate. His i-Limb Quantum is a multi-articulating prosthesis, which means that it offers five individually powered digits. Electrodes on his forearm register the muscle signals from the muscle he would usually use to bend his wrist and feed them to the prosthesis.
The prosthesis facilitates Bertolt’s life, especially the little, everyday things like tying shoelaces, cooking, typing, riding his bicycle and driving his car. However, the psychological benefit is also enormous. “The standard model you receive via the insurance system has a flesh colored plastic glove. You feel ashamed and people react with pity – a stereotype. Ever since I’ve worn the bionic hand, people show positive interest. This has influenced my own attitude towards my disability in a positive manner.”
Life Without Limitations means I can do exactly what I want to do.
Össur is a global leader in non-invasive orthopaedics; innovating, producing, and providing advanced technological solutions within the prosthetics and bracing & supports market. Our mission is to improve the mobility of our users, so they can live their Life Without Limitations.
Össur was founded in 1971 and has since grown through a healthy combination of organic development and acquisitions in both prosthetics and bracing & supports. Today, Össur has a strong global position in the industry and key markets, being the second largest player worldwide in both segments and in a good position to leverage future growth opportunities. Össur has been listed since 1999, has operations in over 26 countries and about 3,500 FTEs.
Individuals can be living with limb loss or limb difference for a variety of reasons. Vascular disease, diabetes, trauma and congenital defects are some of the more common reasons. There are also individuals who develop knee pain, are diagnosed with osteoarthritis in their joints, incur fractures to their ligaments or injure themselves resulting in movement impairment. For years Össur has helped these individuals focus on new goals rather than limitations by offering comprehensive solutions that are designed with the needs of the user top of mind.
Össur is a pioneer of advanced technology where our brand recognition is based on innovative and scientifically proven solutions that deliver effective clinical outcomes. By listening and understanding people’s needs and pushing the boundaries of technology, we continue to create some of the best products and services available in the fields of prosthetics and bracing & supports. Every year Össur invests the equivalent of 5% of sales in R&D efforts to work on new innovative products for the benefit of our users. In 2019 we introduced more than 25 new products to the market.
Össur operates within two market segments of the orthopaedic market: bracing & supports and prosthetics. Prosthetic products include artificial limbs and related products for amputees. Bracing & supports products are primarily used to support joints and other body parts, both for preventive and therapeutic purposes.
Össur’s prosthetics portfolio includes a full spectrum of premium lower and upper limb prosthetic components. The portfolio ranges from solutions to support low active individuals who may struggle to maintain the ideal balance of safety, comfort, and mobility all the way to solutions designed to enable especially active people to engage in high-impact endeavors.
Össur’s osteoarthritis (OA) solutions are designed to enhance quality of life, reduce pain, and improve mobility for people living with osteoarthritis. Össur offers the Unloader One range of knee braces that relieve pain from knee osteoarthritis, as well as the Unloader Hip which is designed to reduce pain by optimizing load dispersion for patients suffering from mild and moderate osteoarthritis of the hip.
Össur’s injury solutions are designed for people recovering from fractures, ligament injuries or for those in need of post-operative treatment solutions. These solutions are designed to support the healing process of bone and soft tissue injuries. Several of these products come with the Functional Healing seal that signifies a clinically validated healing solution that helps enhance the body’s natural healing process while maximizing mobility.