(Reuters) - Medical device maker Boston Scientific Corp said it expects to grow faster than the overall market for implantable heart devices, which has been struggling in recent years amid weak worldwide demand.
The company has lost share in the market for implantable heart defibrillators, pacemakers, heart stents and other products used in interventional cardiology, sales of which make up about 60 percent of the company's revenue. Meanwhile, demand for those products has weakened because of the economy.
Boston Scientific reiterated the outlook it provided last month at an analysts meeting, the first in 2-1/2 years and the first under its new chief executive Mike Mahoney.
"Clearly, these are challenging markets, but they are the markets we have to compete in," said Mahoney, who joined the company about 18 months ago and become CEO in November 2012.
The meeting was held in New York on Tuesday and was closed to the press but webcast live.
Boston Scientific competes with Medtronic Inc and St. Jude Medical for its heart rhythm devices and with Medtronic and Abbott Laboratories for heart stents.
Mahoney, previously a chairman of Johnson & Johnson's Medical Device and Diagnostics Group, said he expects a "slight" improvement in cardiac rhythm management and interventional cardiology markets in 2013 from 2012.
New product launches, improved margins, plus greater participation in emerging markets were among the factors he cited as growth drivers.
Company executives said there were signs of improvement in the first quarter.
"We were encouraged but not satisfied," said Chief Financial Officer Jeff Capello, adding that he sees a return to growth in the second half of 2013.
After the company initially gave its outlook in its quarterly earnings report last month shares rallied to a 1-1/2 year high.
On Tuesday, shares were down 3 cents to $7.60 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.