By Dental Tribune International

ALTSTÄTTEN, Switzerland: A report released earlier this week by COLTENE for the 2017 financial year points to a positive fiscal year. It stated that the Swiss firm, an international leader in the development and production of dental equipment, widened its share and outgrew the underlying market. Most notably its EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) margin grew to above 15 per cent and its sales increased by 4.6 per cent.

According to the report, COLTENE’s sales rose in four major regions of the world—Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia—in both Swiss francs and in local currency. With a net profit increase of 10.4 per cent, the board of directors is reportedly set to propose a dividend of CHF3 per share at the annual general meeting, which will be held on 28 March.

Last year also saw the company launch a number of new products, offer more training courses to improve customer relationships and expand its international sales teams. In 2001, COLTENE had acquired Swiss manufacturer DIATECH, which produces high-quality diamond burs for dental professionals, but not its US business. It acquired the South Carolina-based subsidiary in 2017 and this has helped bring greater cohesion to DIATECH’s brand profile—a move the company believes boosted its sales in rotary instruments to 14 per cent.

In addition to overseas development, the expansion of its head office in Altstätten is currently underway. According to COLTENE, it hopes to improve efficiency and enhance its attraction as an employer. It has previously stated its strong commitment to Switzerland as its home base of innovation and production and to maintaining a well-trained and highly qualified workforce. The new facilities are intended to be ready at the end of 2018.

Going forward into 2018, it has been reported that head management is looking to achieve further sales and EBIT margin growth over the medium term. The company highlighted that the reduction in corporate tax rates in the US could lower its tax bill by approximately CHF1 million as of 2018.