Smith & Nephew Raises Final Dividend by 50%

LONDON -- Smith & Nephew  (LSE: SN  ) this morning filed results for the full year to Dec. 31, 2012. Reported revenue was down over 3% at $4,135 million, and trading profit barely rose, up less than 0.5% to 965 million pounds. But the company said that actual performance was positive, with revenue rising 2% and trading profit 6% on an underlying basis.

Loss of its Biologics and Clinical Therapies business -- which was spun off as Bioventus -- was one cause of the fall in reported revenue, but the company said that completion of the transaction will allow it to continue with its long-term development projects, while realizing resources for reinvestment in nearer-term opportunities.

The company also said that its Advanced Wound Management division grew at well above the market rate -- up 4% against expectations of a flat market -- and reported that the group as a whole delivered double-digit growth in the emerging markets.

On the back of what was reported as a "strong full year," the company has lifted its final dividend by 50%, to $0.162 per share, which gives a total dividend for the year of $0.261 per share -- a yield of 2.3% at the current share price.

Looking ahead, the company expects market conditions in 2013 to be broadly similar to 2012, and will be looking to gain further benefit from its continuing efficiency program.

Olivier Bohuon, CEO of Smith & Nephew, commented:

There is no doubt that we are benefiting from implementing our Strategic Priorities. Our choices to invest in products and geographic areas of higher growth are enabling us to drive greater value from existing resources. Looking at the Full Year, we generated good revenue and profit growth and a healthy 80 basis points increase in trading profit margin. The acquisition of Healthpoint, a leader in the fastest growing area of advanced wound management, clearly demonstrates our delivery in action.

Our confidence in continued strategic progress, coupled with our financial strength, is reflected in the significant 50% uplift in our 2012 dividends.

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