For most medical device companies on this year’s Top 30 list, fiscal 2012 remained a fair year, despite lingering financial and regulatory uncertainty. A majority of the firms (still U.S. dominated) on our list reported sales gains or were solidly level with 2011 performance. So far, it seems, the world’s largest medical device manufacturers continue to weather slower economic growth relatively well. This is probably little consolation, however, for an industry that’s used to double-digit revenue growth, hefty margins and more predictable regulatory pathways. While this group—responsible for approximately $240 billion in sales—is learning ways to deftly navigate choppy financial seas, they’re also evolving as part of the process—learning to become leaner, more efficient and increasingly innovative in order to compete. File this under the old adage: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”It’s no surprise that firms are becoming more global in scope, moving beyond traditional markets and embracing new global sales opportunities in areas with growing middle classes and expanding healthcare needs and budgets. Those demographics are well-known and bode well. But the evolution of these 30 companies—and the industry as a whole, really—also is a technological one that will mean new sales prospects in both existing and expanding markets. The medical device sector will have to face (and already is in some areas) more input from consumers as they manage their own care, work with physicians and caregivers about their technology and treatment options, and do so remotely or wirelessly using a tablet and/or advanced monitoring technology. Many of the firms in this report already have begun to tackle such challenges. In this case, the race indeed may be to the swift.
Editors’ note: As you read our report, please take note that while the companies are ranked according to sales reported for FY 2012 (though we do provide some 2013 figures to date where possible), some may include non-device sales within a division, such as combination products, drug delivery, software or device-related services. Not all companies explicitly break out the device portion of total revenues. We consulted numerous public documents and contacted company officials as needed to arrive at the best estimates. Also note that foreign currency conversions were done based on the exchange rate at the end of the fiscal reporting period being discussed. In addition, where percentage changes are noted, they are based on the foreign currency reported in the financials, not the converted figures to U.S. dollars. For example, “Paris, France-based Company ABC’s sales were $1 billion, an increase of 5 percent (in euros).”
TOP 30 MEDICAL DEVICE MANUFACTURERS (by FY12 revenue, in billions)
|1.||Johnson & Johnson||$27.43|
|16.||St. Jude Medical||$5.50|
|22.||Smith & Nephew||$4.14|