UPDATE 3-Nobel Biocare cuts outlook, Q2 profit misses poll
* Warns may not share in dental implant market growth
* Q2 net profit 15.9 mln euros, misses avg poll estimate of 17.6 mln euros
* Now aiming for 2011 EBIT margin in line with 2010 level of 14.7 pct
* Had been targeting EBIT margin of around 18 pct
* Shares down 4 percent (Adds details, analyst comment, shares)
By Katie Reid
ZURICH, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Nobel Biocare warned on Friday it might not share in the growth of the global dental implants market this year and lowered full-year operating profit margin guidance after missing second-quarter profit forecasts.
Nobel Biocare, knocked off the top spot in the dental implant market by Swiss rival Straumann last year, said net profit slid 19 percent to 15.9 million euros, below the 17.6 million average forecast in a Reuters poll.
The group now expects earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margin to be in line with last year's, excluding foreign exchange and exceptional effects.
Its EBIT margin last year was 14.7 percent, and the group had been aiming for an EBIT margin of around 18 percent for 2011.
At 0749 GMT, Nobel Biocare shares were trading 4.0 percent lower, underperforming a 1.5 percent lower European healthcare index and a 0.7 percent rise in Straumann shares.
Nobel Biocare has had a bumpy ride over recent years during which it has also struggled to get to grips with regional management issues and floundered in ensuring the group had the right product mix.
Earlier this year, it appointed Nestle veteran Richard Laube as chief executive, replacing Domenico Scala and named Synthes' Michel Orsinger as its next chairman as it seeks to get back on track.
Nobel Biocare said it expected the global dental implant market to grow 3-4 percent this year, adding growth in North America may be stronger, but Europe region was still relatively flat.
Laube told journalists in a conference call the group would probably trail market growth this year, but it is aiming to grow its implant systems in line with the market in 2012.
"Nobel Biocare has not achieved the turnaround in H1 as planned. It is still losing share; partially driven by adverse country mix, non-competitive offering, and delay of key launches into Q4," Kepler Capital Markets analyst Florian Gaiser said.
"Nobel Biocare will only be able to catch up in 2012. How credible is the new management with that prediction? Our investment case hinged on a turnaround in 2011. It's not happening. Buy goes under review," Gaiser said.
The dental implant industry was hit hard during the economic downturn as patients put off non-urgent dental treatment generally not reimbursed by insurers.
After some signs the industry was starting to recover, investors are now worrying that clouds over the global economic outlook could cast shadows over this sector again.
But analysts view the long-term prospects for the sector as bright thanks to ageing populations, as well as an increased awareness of the cosmetic advantages of implants and veneers.
Investors will look for more clues when Straumann reports next Tuesday. (Reporting by Katie Reid; Editing by David Cowell and Mike Nesbit)
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