ZURICH, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Straumann, the world’s largest maker of dental implants, hopes its focus on cost cuts and investments in North America, China and Brazil will help it make more profit in 2013 even if the dental market remains sluggish.
The Basel-based firm said full-year net profit dropped to 36.4 million Swiss francs from 71 million francs a year ago, dragged down by a charge related to its cost-cutting programme and an impairment of intangible assets in Japan.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast net profit of 58 million francs on average.
Straumann and local rival Nobel Biocare have come up against weak demand in their main market Europe as cash-strapped customers cut back on non-essential dental treatment.
The company said in October it would cut roughly 6 percent of its global workforce as it tries to boost profits and margins that have also been squeezed in recent years by a strong Swiss franc and low-cost competition.