Sonova lifts medium-term sales target, to spend more on acquisitions

Sept 14 (Reuters) - Sonova Holding AG, the world’s biggest hearing aid maker, on Tuesday raised its medium-term sales growth guidance and increased its annual spending target for acquisitions as it rides a post-pandemic rebound.

In a presentation at its investor day, the company said it was expecting annual sales to grow 6-9% in the next five fiscal years, compared to a previous target of 5-7% growth. It reaffirmed a 7-11% medium-term growth target for earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITA).

In May, Sonova said it expected strong growth in 2021 due to a wave of pent-up demand for hearing aids after the pandemic.

The pandemic initially hit hearing aid makers as restrictions and fears of infection deterred patients from seeing doctors or audiologists, but many have started to seek treatment again as they gained confidence in protective measures in stores.

Sonova also said it planned to increase its spending for bolt-on acquisitions to 70-100 million Swiss francs ($76-$109 million) per year from the previous target of 50-70 million francs annually.

Its shares were up 3.6% as of 1350 GMT, and have grown 59% year-to-date.

In May, the group announced the acquisition of the consumer unit of German headphone and microphone maker Sennheiser for 200 million euros to reach younger customers through the emerging segment of in-ear wearables.

Gains from the acquisition - which should close in the second half of 2021 - were not included in the new mid-term guidance, the company said.

$1 = 0.9191 Swiss francs Reporting by Bartosz Dabrowski in Gdansk; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise