Getinge profits jump as pandemic fuels scramble for ventilators

Q2 Adjusted EBITA SEK 1.22 bln vs year-ago 591 mln

Like-for-like order bookings surge 17.5% yr/yr

Company issues no sales outlook amid pandemic uncertainty

Shares rise 4.5%

Adds detail, background

STOCKHOLM, July 16 (Reuters) - Swedish medical equipment maker Getinge GETIb.ST reported on Thursday a jump in core profit and order intake in the second quarter as demand for ventilators and other life support equipment surged due to the still raging pandemic.

Getinge, one of the world's biggest makers of medical ventilators, is increasing ventilator production capacity as it expects its high delivery rate to continue into next year before gradually returning to previous levels.

Adjusted operating profit before amortisation grew to 1.22 billion crowns ($134.3 million) from a year-earlier 591 million, with the margin nearly doubling to 17.5% from 9.4% while order intake jumped 17.5% on a like-for-like basis.

"The high volumes, combined with the productivity measures in recent years, resulted in increased profitability, strengthened free cash flow and lower net debt," Chief Executive Mattias Perjos said in a statement.

Handelsbanken said in a research note it expected Getinge shares to rise at least 5% on the back of higher-than-expected earnings and order intake in the quarter. The stock was up 4.5% in the first few minutes of trading in Stockholm.

The maker of products for surgery, intensive care, infection control and sterilisation still held off on providing sales guidance for the year, citing the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the spread of the disease has seen demand for products such as the ventilators rocket, hospitals have scaled back purchases in other less urgent categories and Getinge said it expected a slow recovery for these capital goods.

Rival Draegerwerk on Tuesday reported preliminary results and said full-year sales and profit would rise considerably this year due to demand resulting from the pandemic, sending its shares up.

($1 = 9.0869 Swedish crowns)

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; editing by Niklas Pollard)

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