Cochlear spends big on inventory to avoid supply chain crunch



Cochlear boss Dig Howitt says spending big on raw materials and semiconductor inventory will allow the hearing implant maker to ride out future ructions in global supply chains, which have been squeezed as the fight for semiconductors rages.


Shares in Cochlear leapt on Tuesday, as the Sydney-based company shrugged off pandemic restrictions across developed markets and maintained its full-year profit guidance, sweetening the result with a higher dividend for shareholders.


The stock jumped 9.0 per cent to close at $207.37 each as investors digested the results, which included a 20 per cent rise in underlying net profit to $157.5 million on a constant currency basis over the half to December 31.


While the results largely beat market expectations, a $24 million Job Keeper repayment and a $59 million tax repayment after a US patent dispute during FY21 prompted a 28 per cent fall in statutory net profit to $169.3 million for this half.


Chief executive Mr Howitt said Cochlear spent $20 million on inventory over the half as the global hunt for electronic parts reached fever pitch last year.


Source: The Australian Financial Review.