COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Sales at GN Store Nord’s audio business jumped in the first quarter as demand for headsets and webcams from locked down workers soared, and the Danish company said the boom would continue as it caught up with the order backlog.
But its headline first quarter profits disappointed as revenue at its hearing aid business – which accounts for almost half of total sales – fell 14% because many people were unable to visit audiologists due to the coronavirus epidemic.
Group earnings before interest tax and amortisation (EBITA) fell 32% to 300 million Danish crowns ($43.71 million), 19% below consensus estimates according to Jefferies analysts, and shares in the company were down 4.7% at 0745 GMT.
The sales drop in the hearing aid business impacted group margins, the brokerage said.
Audio sales, meanwhile, rose 24%, and the division’s chief executive René Svendsen-Tune forecast another good showing in the second quarter.
“We will without doubt get a very strong second quarter because of a large order intake, and because the demand has been larger than what we have been able to deliver,” he told Reuters.
Known for its Jabra brand, the company said one of its hearing aid factories, in China, that was shut in February due to the coronavirus lockdown was now running at full capacity.
($1 = 6.86 Danish crowns)
(Reporting by Andreas Mortensen; editing by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and John Stonestreet)