Global pathology company Sonic Healthcare says it expects to earn around the same as last year, as it bounces back from the impact of the pandemic.
The world’s third-largest laboratory medicine company had been forecasting earnings to grow six to eight per cent on FY19’s $1.075 billion, but withdrew that guidance on March 20 as the lockdowns began.
“The declines in base business revenues varied significantly by market, but early stabilisation of levels became evident in late April, followed by commencing recovery during May, at different rates in each market,” the Sydney-headquartered company said on Wednesday.
While its trading results in March and April were substantially below forecast, Sonic said its trading in May and early June have been better than expected.
Base revenues have recovered and its laboratories in Australia, the USA and Europe are also testing thousands of patients per day for Covid-19, Sonic said.
“Our leaders have shown great flexibility and have adapted rapidly to an entirely new operating environment,” Sonic chief executive Dr Colin Goldschmidt said.
He said that Sonic’s board of directors and senior management took a voluntary 50 per cent cut in remuneration in the early stage of the pandemic, “at a time of great uncertainty,” in solidarity with staff.
Sonic also minimised overtime hours, froze hiring and furloughed thousands of its 37,000 staff around the world, Dr Goldschmidt said.
Those staff have been progressively returning to work as patient volumes return to normal, he said.
At 1118 AEST, Sonic shares were up 3.5 per cent to $29.97.