RPT-Siemens Healthineers says sales growth to return next year

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AMSTERDAM, Nov 2 (Reuters) - German health technology company Siemens Healthineers said on Monday it expected sales to rise 5 to 8% in the coming year as efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic allow hospitals to resume routine care testing activities.

Comparable sales fell 2% in the fourth quarter of Healthineers’ fiscal year 2020, while operating profit was down 20% at 626 million euros ($728.29 million), as the development of a rapid antigen test to detect coronavirus infections drove up the costs of its diagnostics unit.

Analysts polled by the company on average had expected adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of 644 million euros for the July-September period, after a result of 783 million euros a year earlier. ($1 = 0.8595 euros) (Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Kim Coghill)