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Cochlear Falls on Stalling Developed Market Sales

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Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Cochlear Ltd., maker of the world’s top-selling ear implant, fell by the most in 16 months in Sydney trading after announcing stalling growth in developed markets that contribute more than 80 percent of sales.

The stock dropped 9.3 percent to close at A$72.96, its biggest decline since September 2011. The Sydney-based company today reported 1 percent growth in its Americas sales and a 2 percent decline in Europe, Middle East and Africa for the six months ended Dec. 31.

The “flat result shows market share loss” in developed markets, Andrew Goodsall, an analyst at UBS AG, wrote in a note to clients. The company derives more than 40 percent of its revenues from each the Americas and Europe region in the financial year ended June 30, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Cochlear, formed more than three decades ago to develop a so-called bionic ear invented by Melbourne researcher Graeme Clark, announced first-half net income of A$77.7 million ($81 million). That’s about 4.9 percent below the A$81.7 million average of five analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Cochlear’s Nucleus CI500 series of ear implants were pulled from the market in September 2011 after tiny cracks enabled water to enter the units, causing them to malfunction. The Sydney-based company said in October 2011 that the recall costs could reach A$150 million.

To contact the reporter on this story: Natasha Khan in Hong Kong at nkhan51@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Gale at j.gale@bloomberg.net