Smith & Nephew boosts dividend as confidence grows

LONDON Thu Aug 2, 2012 2:13am EDT

LONDON Aug 2 (Reuters) - Smith & Nephew, Europe's leading maker of artificial hips and knees, hiked its half-year dividend 50 percent on Thursday as profit margins grew and its confidence in the future improved, despite challenging markets.

The group, which also makes wound therapy products, said it generated broadly flat revenue of $1.03 billion from $1.08 billion a year ago, generating trading profit of $234 million versus $236 million.

Analysts, on average, had expected revenue of $1.04 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, while the company-collated consensus for trading profit was $229 million.

The orthopaedic implant sector has been hard hit for a couple of years by patients delaying elective medical procedures because of the out-of-pocket cost of surgery and the time off work required.

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