* Cuts 2020 profit, revenue targets as pandemic hits Q2
* Delays, low demand outweigh strong performance at FMC
* Shares down 4% (Adds details from conference call, updates shares)
By Zuzanna Szymanska
July 30 (Reuters) – German healthcare group Fresenius cut its 2020 profit and revenue targets on Thursday as the COVID-19 pandemic hit elective procedures and delayed product launches, outweighing a strong performance in dialysis.
In its first forecasts factoring in the impact of the pandemic, the company said it expected adjusted net income this year within a range of down 4% to up 1% from last year, and revenue growth of 3-6%.
That compares with previous forecasts for growth of 1-5%, and 4-7%, respectively.
The company’s shares were down 4.2% at 1320 GMT.
“Our base case is that a major second COVID-19 wave in our relevant markets can be prevented. Instead, we should continue to see local and regional outbreaks,” Chief Executive Stephan Sturm said in a conference call.
The pandemic has been a mixed blessing for healthcare companies, bringing increased demand for selected products and services but also delays in treatments and extra expenses.
While the number of post-acute treatments should gradually recover, postponed site inspections will cut Fresenius’ 2020 product launches by about 30% and project delays may last well into the second half, Sturm said.
Fresenius’ second-quarter net income came in at 410 million euros ($483 million), down 13% year-on-year but above analysts’ mean forecast of 398 million euros in a company-provided poll.
The company pointed to easing demand for painkillers and sedatives to treat seriously ill COVID-19 patients after a surge in the first quarter, and a slower-than-expected recovery in China after its coronavirus outbreak was brought under control.
Fresenius Medical Care, the group’s separately listed dialysis unit, confirmed its 2020 targets, citing a strong underlying performance and receding pandemic effects, after reporting second-quarter net income 8% above consensus.
$1 = 0.8495 euros
Reporting by Zuzanna Szymanska and Milla Nissi in Gdansk;
Editing by David Holmes and Mark Potter