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Greatbatch profits increase 17% as all product lines see higher sales

Higher sales across all of its medical products businesses, coupled with lower interest costs, helped Greatbatch Inc.'s third-quarter profits jump by 17 percent.

While Greatbatch's main cardiac rhythm management business, which accounts for more than half of the company's total sales, had only modest sales growth, its vascular access and orthopedic products units both posted double-digit sales growth, offseting lower revenues from its commercial battery business.

Greatbatch's profits rose to $7 million, or 30 cents per share, from $6 million, or 25 cents per share, a year earlier. The earnings, which equaled 41 cents per share after adjusting for certain costs, easily topped analyst forecasts of 34 cents.

The company's sales grew by 3 percent to $131.7 million from $127.5 million, fueled by growth in Greatbatch's medical products business.

"This was another solid quarter," said Thomas J. Hook, Greatbatch's president and chief executive officer.

Sales at Greatbatch's cardiac rhythm management business grew by 2 percent to $70 million, and company executives predicted that those revenues would fall during the current quarter.

The company's orthopedic products business increased revenues by 11 percent to $31.1 million, with most of that gain coming from favorable currency exchange rates. Excluding those currency fluctuations, sales were up 4 percent.

Sales of the company's vascular access products grew by 26 percent to $11.4 million, while commercial battery revenues dropped by 12 percent to $18.5 million.

The company said it booked $1 million in revenues from medical devices that were developed under the Greatbatch name during the third quarter, matching sales of those products during the previous six months. Greatbatch officials said they expect up to $3 million in sales of those products during the current quarter.

The company repeated its previous forecast that its adjusted earnings per share would rise to $1.60 to $1.70 per share, up from $1.51 per share last year. Sales are expected to run between $550 million and $570 million, up from $533 million last year.

email: drobinson@buffnews.com

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