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Holmium laser boost for Lumenis

17 Feb 2015

Israeli medical laser firm reports 9% increase in sales for the closing quarter of 2014.

A positive early response from the medical market to new holmium lasers from Lumenis has helped the company add strong momentum to its sales in the closing quarter of 2014.

Tzipi Ozer-Armon, CEO of the Yokneam, Israel, company, told investors that new products had accounted for nearly one-fifth of Lumenis revenues in the final three months of last year – indicative of its prior investment in research and development.

She focused in particular on the company’s “Pulse 120H” holmium laser, which is aimed at surgical urology applications. With a 2.1 micron emission line, these lasers are strongly absorbed by water – meaning that they do not penetrate far into tissue, and this can help to reduce collateral damage during surgery.

“The Pulse 120H is the most powerful and versatile holmium laser surgery solution in the urology market and we are progressing in our plan to get the system in the hands of the leading surgeons in the US and Europe,” Ozer-Armon said. “Our Pulse 120H holmium laser is by far the best technology on the market as it provides significant improvement in hemostasis while reducing enucleation time.”

During 2014, she added, some 650 surgeons have been trained to use the new tool, which is used to treat common ailments such as benign prostate hyperplasia (an enlarged prostate) and kidney stones.

Laser rejuvenation
While surgical laser sales grew 6 per cent year-on-year to $30.6 million in the latest quarter, it is the aesthetic market that is really driving Lumenis’ revenue growth.

Aesthetic sales rose 20 per cent in the full fiscal year 2014, to $120.6 million – and would have grown even more strongly but for slightly negative currency fluctuations.

Ozer-Armon told an investor call that applications in skin rejuvenation and hair removal had provided that impetus, while the company is about to launch a new multi-wavelength treatment for acne after receiving approval for the device from the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) last month.

Another new application comes by way of vaginal laser rejuvenation (VLR), where Lumenis is looking to leverage its existing carbon dioxide laser technology. Ozer-Armon said that the company would launch a product based on its AcuPulse platform to treat conditions including vaginal atrophy and stress urinary incontinence, which affect an estimated 30 million post-menopausal women in the US alone. A clinical trial is anticipated later this year.

For the full fiscal year, Lumenis posted a net income of $12.7 million on total revenues of $289.7 million, up 9 per cent on the fiscal 2013 figure. Ozer-Armon and her executive team predicted that sales would grow by around another 6 per cent this year, to reach somewhere between $305 million and $310 million.

The Nasdaq-listed firm's stock price rose in value following the earnings release. However, after closing at $10.80 on February 16, it remains down on the $12.80 high reached shortly after the company's initial public offering in the US, almost exactly a year ago.

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