October 31, 2013 / 11:18 AM / 4 years ago

Smith & Nephew picks new chairman as wound care boosts sales

LONDON (Reuters) - British medical devices group Smith & Nephew (SN.L) picked veteran industrialist Roberto Quarta as its new chairman on Thursday as it posted 5 percent higher quarterly sales, boosted by strong demand for wound care products.

Quarta, an Italian-American businessman now based in Britain, will join as a non-executive director on December 4 and is slated to become chairman from next April, replacing John Buchanan who is stepping down after nine years.

He will be joining Smith & Nephew at an interesting time, since it is banking on new products to reinvigorate sales in replacement hips and knees.

Smith & Nephew has been trailing rivals like Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N), Zimmer ZMH.N and Stryker (SYK.N) in orthopaedic reconstruction due to a relative lack of new products.

But Chief Executive Olivier Bohuon said the joint implant business was now improving, following successful new product introductions and increased investment.

The group posted revenue of $1.03 billion and adjusted earnings per share (EPSA) of 17.1 cents in the third quarter, while trading profit rose 10 percent to $222 million.

Analysts, on average, had forecast revenue of $1.02 billion and EPSA of 17 cents, according to Thomson Reuters.

Smith & Nephew maintained its outlook for the full year but said market conditions remained tough.

Quarta currently chairs IMI (IMI.L), Rexel (RXL.PA) and private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Europe.

Reporting by Ben Hirschler. Editing by Jane Merriman

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