Media & news

Nobel Biocare full year 2013 revenue up 2.2% (CER) with improving underlying profitability

  • Revenue for the full year at CER grew 2.2% versus prior year to EUR 566.8 million (–2.4% in EUR), representing the first annual growth at CER since 2007
  •  Implants System representing 85% of Group revenue grew 3.3% (CER), outpacing estimated growth of market
  • Adverse currency impact on revenue -4.6pp, gross margin -0.4pp, EBIT margin –1.3pp
  • Operating profit (EBIT) of EUR 64.0 million reflecting a margin of 11.3%; excluding realignment costs and currency impacts EBIT margin at 13.4% (2012: 11.9%), owing to cost-saving initiatives yielding results
  • Net profit EUR 42.6 million (2012: EUR 46.1 million), proposed dividend unchanged at CHF 0.20

Table 1: Selected key figures in EUR million

Q4 2013


Q4 2012restated


Variance 2012-2013

FY 2013


FY 2012restated


Variance 2012-2013














Variance at constant exchange rates (CER)





Gross profit













Gross margin





Operating expenses





Operating profit (EBIT)







EBIT margin





Net financial result





Profit before tax











Net profit






Profit margin





Basic earnings per share, EUR






Net cash from operating activities





1 Figures for Q4 2013 include a EUR 1.4 million cost reversal for headquarter realignment.2 Figures for 2012 have been restated due to changes in the presentation of the income statement and the adoption of IAS 19R.3 Figures for FY 2013 include EUR 4.8 million non-recurring costs for headquarter realignment.

Richard Laube, CEO: “The 2013 results give us confidence that our strategy is working and that we have significantly strengthened the competitiveness of the business. Overall market conditions were far from ideal, but in this environment we achieved revenue growth at CER, for the first time since 2007, and we outgrew our peers. In 2013, we have further upped our investments in R&D, by over 10% and still improved the underlying EBIT margin. Our pipeline is rolling out, and our commercial partnering activities, and training and education are increasingly in place. This has led to an acceleration of growth in our high-margin core business, Implant Systems, the key indicator for the success of our strategy. The efficiency initiatives are progressing well and we are well positioned to continue gaining market share and improve profitability sustainably.”

Business performance update

Table 2: Revenue by region

in EUR millions

Q4 2013

Q4 2012



FY 2013

FY 2012



Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)









Share of total revenue














Share of total revenue














Share of total revenue














Again in 2013, global market conditions were very mixed. The US experienced solid growth accelerating to the high single-digit percentage range in the course of the year. Markets in Europe continued to suffer from ongoing economic difficulties and were flat at best. Japan still felt the impact from the adverse media campaign about dental implant treatment and was again negative for the full year and only started to slowly recover toward the end of the year.

Nobel Biocare generated revenue of EUR 566.8 million for the full year 2013, reflecting year-on-year growth at constant exchange rates (CER) of 2.2% compared with the year before. This marked the first year of CER revenue growth since 2007 and is estimated to be ahead of peers. Negative currency translation effects due to the weak US dollar and Japanese yen against the euro resulted in a decrease of 2.4 % in euro. Market conditions in Japan continued to adversely affect the overall performance. The impact for Nobel Biocare was higher than for competitors as the company is the market leader in Japan and consequently has a higher contribution from this market. Excluding Japan, revenue for the full year was up 3.4% at CER.

In the fourth quarter, revenue of EUR 149.6 million was up 3.9% at CER (down 2.2% in euro due to the adverse currency impact). All regions achieved growth at CER in the fourth quarter and in the second half of the year.

In Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), revenue (CER) for the full year rose by 1.7% to EUR 232.6 million (Q4 2013: 1.6% CER). While overall market conditions remained weak in many countries, Nobel Biocare achieved its first CER revenue growth since 2007 in this region. Markets in Germany, France, Spain and Italy were sluggish. Growth was consistently achieved in markets where the strategy execution is more advanced such as Russia and Belgium. It is worth noting that after many years of decline, Nobel Biocare achieved growth in Spain. The company also strengthened distributor partnerships in Eastern Europe, and the Alpha-Bio Tec brand supported growth in the region.

In the Americas, revenue (CER) in 2013 increased by 4.5% to EUR 230.1 million (Q4 2013: 5.1%). The US market, which is the main market in the region and contributes over 80% of the revenue, was very solid throughout the year. It is in this market where Nobel Biocare’s strategy execution with a focus on treatment workflow optimization is the most advanced. The company achieved mid-single digit percentage revenue growth at CER with accelerating momentum in the second half due to solid growth in Implant Systems and double-digit growth in Individualized. While Brazil and Canada remained below prior year’s level, Mexico achieved a high-teens percentage (CER) revenue increase compared with the prior year.

In the Asia/Pacific region, revenue (CER) for the full year was down 1.3% to EUR 104.1 million (Q4 2013: +6.0%). The Japanese market continued to decline modestly after the impact of adverse media coverage in 2012. Consequently, Nobel Biocare remained below the prior year’s revenue (-6.9%) in this market. However, growth in Japan was positive in the fourth quarter (+2.9%). Excluding Japan, revenue in the region was up by 6.6% (CER) compared with 2012. Revenue in Australia remained flat, while China and India continued to grow at double-digit rates.

Alpha-Bio Tec (ABT) serves customer segments and specific markets with demand for reduced and lower-price components, primarily to treat posterior, single tooth indications. This brand continued its solid growth in 2013 and entered the Chinese market in the second half of the year.

Implant Systems (85% of Group revenue) increased by 3.3% (CER) overall (4.5% excluding Japan). Implant fixtures isolated grew 5.6% (CER) confirming the strategic focus on implant-based restorations. The performance was primarily driven by the implant portfolio with the more advanced conical connections such as NobelActive® and the recently launched NobelReplace® CC and PMC, which support the company’s largest implant line, NobelReplace®. NobelActive® saw high-teens percentage growth, marking the seventh year of double-digit growth since its introduction. Individualized (15% of Group revenue) declined 3.5% (CER) in 2013 (-2.5% excluding Japan). Revenue developed in line with the focus on implant-based restorations. Tooth-based restorations continued to decline strongly, still contributing a fifth of the Individualized revenue. Implant-based restorations continued to grow driven by overdenture bars, which were up 21%, and CAD/CAM abutments, which saw a mid-single digit percentage growth rate, primarily driven by demand in the US thanks to the NobelProcera® Scan and Design Center. NobelClinicianTM, which enables customers to place implants more accurately and in optimum positions for superior restorations, is emerging as the premier implant and restorative planning software and is also available on Mac®, the preferred computer platform for many dentists. To date, over 6,000 licenses for the program have been sold.

Financial performance update

The figures for 2012 have been restated due to changes in the presentation of the income statement and the adoption of IAS 19R.

Gross profit in the 2013 reporting period was EUR 430.3 million (2012: EUR 439.5 million), down 2.1% from the previous year – all due to an adverse currency impact. The gross profit margin increased to 75.9% (2012: 75.7%), despite the negative currency impact (-0.4pp) and realignment costs. The underlying margin improvement is due to lower depreciation cost for the full year. Gross margins for Implant Systems and Individualized remained broadly consistent with the year before.

Operating expenses for the full year were EUR 366.3 million (2012: EUR 370.2 million), down 1.1%. Excluding the currency impact this reflects an increase of 2.0%. However, the 2013 expenses include EUR 4.0 million non-recurring costs for the realignment of the Gothenburg corporate functions, which is part of transforming Nobel Biocare into a leaner, more flexible, more competitive, and customer-centric organization. Excluding these realignment costs and currency impact, overall expenses were up 0.9%.

Research and development expenses for the full year increased to EUR 68.0 million. Excluding the realignment costs and the currency impact, this is an 11.6% increase from the year before and reflects an industry-leading 12.0% of revenue. Resources in selling and marketing were shifted to growing country organizations, and despite increasing the number of partnering activities and conducting a global symposium in New York, overall selling and marketing expenses decreased to EUR 216.8 million or by 1.1% excluding currency effects and the realignment costs. Various programs to improve efficiency in the administrative area were compensated by important investments into business support systems resulting in general and administrative expenses of EUR 81.5 million, down by 1.7%, excluding realignment and currency impact. Overall operating expenses in relation to revenue went up to 64.6%. Excluding the realignment costs it remained similar to last year’s level at 63.9%.

Operating profit (EBIT) for 2013 was EUR 64.0 million, 7.6% lower than in 2012 (EUR 69.3 million), reflecting an EBIT margin of 11.3% (2012: 11.9%). The adverse currency impact and total realignment costs of EUR 4.8 million were the reasons for the decrease. Realignment costs were initially estimated to be EUR 6.2 million as announced in Q2 2013. Excluding both effects, EBIT was up 14.8%, reflecting a margin of 13.4% – fully in line with the Group’s outlook of a 100 to 150 bps increase from the prior year at CER and excluding realignment costs. The EBIT margin excluding the realignment costs was 12.1%.

Currencies – In 2013, the currency translation impact was -4.6pp on revenue, -0.4pp on the gross profit margin and -1.3pp on the EBIT margin. The US dollar and Japanese yen weakening against the euro drove this negative currency translation impact.

The net financial result in the reporting year was minus EUR 6.9 million (2012: EUR -8.0). While interest expenses remained broadly unchanged, the improvement is primarily due to a positive hedging result compared with the year before.

Taxes – In 2013, tax expenses were EUR 14.5 million (2012: EUR 15.2 million), slightly increasing the underlying tax rate to 25.4% compared with 24.8% in the prior year. A more unfavorable regional profit contribution led to this slight increase.

Net profit for the year was EUR 42.6 million (2012: EUR 46.1 million), down 7.6% compared with the year before. The net margin was 7.5% versus 7.9% in 2012. Excluding currency effects and the realignment costs, net profit was up 14.3% for the year. Earnings per share (EPS) were EUR 0.35 (2012: EUR 0.37).

Cash flow from operating activities for the full year was EUR 77.8 million (2012: EUR 103.0 million). The lower cash flow is primarily a result of increased safety levels of inventories and strong revenue development at the end of the period. At the end of 2013, Nobel Biocare reported a cash position of EUR 180.8 million versus EUR 146.6 million in 2012. The net cash position was EUR 66.5 million compared with EUR 36.1 million at the end of 2012. This cash level is further supported by the syndicated credit facility, which gives the company sufficient financial flexibility from a strategic perspective.

Strategy update

In 2012, Nobel Biocare introduced a new strategy, “Designing for Life”, centered on customers and patients. The rebuilding of the organization then focused on fulfilling one clear value proposition: to help customers treat more patients better with Nobel Biocare’s superior products and solutions. The company provides customers with the tools, components and solutions they need to perform superior implant-based treatments to the highest standards for patient satisfaction. To deliver this, four strategic pillars were set:

Designing for Life – innovation beyond products – The investments in R&D focus on a) creating a more effective treatment outcome for patients, b) enabling more patients to be treated and, c) a more efficient and profitable workflow for  clinics and laboratories. The launches in 2013 align well with these objectives. The NobelReplace® PMC (partially machined collar) simplifies the drill protocol and aligns the prosthetic option with the conical connection implants NobelActive® and NobelReplace® CC. Implants with conical connection have grown 29% in 2013. Improvements to NobelClinicianTM in the past 24 months have lead to a dramatic increase in subscribers, now over 6,000, and broad use of digital planning to execute treatments more efficiently within the practice, including features like NobelConnectTM, where the surgical, restorative and laboratory professionals can all share and work on a single patient file. The recently introduced NobelProcera® 2G Scanner can cut scanning time in half, is easier to train on and can significantly increase laboratory productivity. Lastly, the opening of the NobelProcera® production centers with open access offers superior NobelProcera® components initially to laboratories with 3Shape® scanners.

Partnering for Life – customer development activities – The Customer partner activities were further expanded to provide a tool box for increasing patient flow and treatment acceptance. The programs range from study clubs to patient awareness and education tools. To improve productivity the company also invested in the training and education of its sales force, which is the largest in the industry. These efforts have led to reduced turnover and established continuity in the sales force. The new online store has been expanded and now covers all major markets.

Learning for Life – training and education – The company has redirected its training and education approach to more hands-on, peer-to-peer sessions (from largely podium and lecture-based education). The participation at the courses offered through the Global Course Catalog and at the sold-out Nobel Biocare Symposium in New York City confirm the success of this change. In 2013, the company also established the Foundation for Oral Rehabilitation (FOR) to help professionals stay at the forefront of patient treatment understanding by using new and exciting learning practices.

Operating efficiency and effectiveness – The company’s ultimate performance objective is to regain market share profitably. All processes are constantly reviewed and improved. Resources are allocated along the strategic pillars. Over the last two years several projects (NobelQuality3, order-to-cash and the realignment of the corporate functions) were initiated that will yield significant sustainable benefits in the near future. All in all over 300 positions have been realigned in the last two years to reshape Nobel Biocare into a leaner and more competitive organization. The underlying cost/revenue ratio was reduced. A new pay-to-procure program was initiated to tackle the over EUR 150 million indirect purchase cost block.

Executive Committee update – Effective January 1, 2014, Dietmar Bettio, Chief Information Officer, was appointed to the Nobel Biocare Executive Committee.

Annual General Meeting

The Board of Directors’ proposals to the Annual General Meeting of shareholders (AGM) scheduled for March 26, 2014, in Zurich, Switzerland, in addition to the approval of the annual accounts, include:

Dividend – The Board of Directors proposes a dividend of CHF 0.20 per registered share, unchanged from the previous year. This reflects a payout ratio of 47%. It is planned to pay this dividend out of reserves and in a shareholder-friendly way without deduction of withholding tax. The payment date for this dividend, if approved by the AGM, is set for April 2, 2014 (ex-dividend date: March 28, 2014, record date: April 1,  2014).

Amendments to the Articles of Incorporation due to the ordinance against excessive compensation at public companies (VegüV) – In order to implement the ordinance, the Board of Directors proposes amendments be made to various provisions in the Articles of Incorporation at the next AGM. These include, among other things, a prospective approval of the remuneration for the Board of Directors and Executive Committee, while continuing to put the Remuneration Report to a consultative vote. At the AGM 2015, the total remuneration for members of the Board of Directors (from AGM 2015 until AGM 2016) and the Executive Committee (for the financial year 2016) will be put to the vote for the first time.

The Chairman and the members of the Compensation Committee will all be proposed for election at the next AGM for a term of one year. As in previous years, Nobel Biocare will allow shareholders to issue their power of attorney and instructions electronically to the independent voting proxy.


Nobel Biocare expects continued slow recovery of the global economy and growth in the global dental implant market at a low single-digit rate.

In this market environment, Nobel Biocare aims to continue outpacing peer competitors and increasing its market share in dental implants.

Nobel Biocare will continue with its measures to adjust the level of spending, shift resources to growth drivers and allocate resources to growing markets.

Based on these market assumptions and the ongoing cost saving initiatives, Nobel Biocare expects for the full year 2014 revenue to grow around 3% to 4% (CER) and to improve the EBIT margin excluding realignment costs by about 100bps (CER) from 12.1% in 2013.

Nobel Biocare is a world leader in the field of innovative implant-based dental restorations. The company’s portfolio offers solutions from single tooth to fully edentulous indications with dental implant systems (including key brands NobelActive®, Brånemark System® and NobelReplace®), a comprehensive range of high-precision individualized prosthetics and CAD/CAM systems (NobelProcera®), diagnostics, treatment planning and guided surgery solutions (NobelClinician® and DTX Studio™) and biomaterials (creos). Nobel Biocare supports its customers through all phases of professional development, offering world-class training and education along with practice support and patient information materials. The company is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Production takes place at six sites located in the United States, Sweden, Japan and Israel. Products and services are available in over 80 countries through subsidiaries and distributors.