ZURICH, April 30 (Reuters) - Swiss dental implant maker Straumann on Thursday posted first-quarter organic revenue growth of 8 percent, beating expectations, and also confirmed its full-year outlook.
The market for premium dental implants has shown signs of picking up after the global economic downturn, though Basel-based Straumann also has to cope with the strength of the Swiss franc.
Revenue in Europe, Middle East and Africa, its biggest region, was squeezed by price reductions in some markets to compensate for the appreciation of Switzerland's currency, sparked by a central bank policy move in January, Straumann said in a statement .
Overall, Straumann said, net revenue for the three months stood at 193.2 million Swiss francs ($205.60 million) from 180 million francs a year ago. This was higher than the average estimate in a Reuters poll of analysts, which was 186 million francs.
The company also confirmed 2015 targets for mid-single-digit organic revenue growth and an operating profit (EBIT) margin of at least 20 percent, though the latter aim assumes exchange rates remain more or less at February levels.
Straumann recently agreed to buy the stake it did not already own in Brazil's Neodent for 680 million Brazilian reais($230.17 million). It said Neodent will be accretive to its reported EBIT margin before acquisition-related one-time effects.
($1 = 0.9397 Swiss francs)
$1 = 2.9544 Brazilian reais Reporting by Joshua Franklin and Alice Baghdjian; Editing by Sunil Nair