The Wider View: Medtech Top 10 - alas, Abbott, No. 5 you will remain

With GE Healthcare recording a 4 percent increase in its 2018 revenue, the company has kept its place as the medtech industry's fourth biggest player for another year. Roche has also stayed within the top 10 with a strong finish to 2018.


What's happened

GE released its fourth-quarter and full-year results for 2018 on Thursday and the healthcare business proved yet again to be one of the group's strongest units.

GE Healthcare posted fourth-quarter revenues of $5.4 billion, which was a modest 2 percent increase on a reported basis, but a more solid 6 percent year-over-year uptick on a constant currency basis. Full-year revenues went up 4 percent to hit $19.8 billion. The business also reported profit increase of 2 percent, at $1.2 billion, driven by "strong productivity and execution," said the company.

2018 would be the last fiscal year that GE Healthcare will be reported as part of the group; this unit has filed for an IPO and will be spun-out as an independent company by the end of this year.

Swiss company Roche also announced its 2018 results on Thursday; its diagnostics business recorded full-year sales of 12.87 billion Swiss francs ($12.9 billion), a 7 percent increase - both reported and on a constant currency basis - from the previous year. Full-year sales from the Centralised and Point of Care Solutions segment went up 8 percent year-over-year and was the largest contributor to the diagnostics division's growth. Diabetes care, while a star performer for companies like Medtronic and Abbott, only showed 1-percent growth for Roche.


The wider view

Earlier this week, we took a look at the state of the medtech industry's top 10 rankings based on fiscal 2018 results that were already released. [See The Wider View: Medtech Top 10 moves - could Abbott beat GE Healthcare to medtech No. 4 spot?]

With the last two companies in this league table - GE Healthcare and Roche - having now announced their results, the final roll call for the industry's Top 10 players looks like this:


Medtech Top 10 rankings for fiscal 2018 (as of January 31, 2018)


Ranking 2018


Fiscal 2018 medtech sales ($m)

Fiscal 2017 medtech sales ($m)

1 (=)

Medtronic (a)



2 (=)

Johnson & Johnson (b)



3 (=)

Philips Healthcare (c)



4 (=)

GE Healthcare



5 (=)

Abbott Laboratories (d)



6 (+4)

Becton Dickinson (e)



7 (=)

Cardinal Health (f)



8 (-2)

Siemens Healthineers (g)



9 (-1)




10 (-1)

Roche Diagnostics (h)




a.               Medtronic’s fiscal 2018 ended April 30, 2018.

b.               Includes only Johnson & Johnson’s Medical Devices sales.

c.               Sales figures converted from Euros.

d.               Includes Abbott’s Medical Devices and Diagnostics sales.

e.               Becton Dickinson’s fiscal 2018 ended September 31, 2018.

f.                Cardinal Health’s fiscal 2018 ended June 30, 2018. Includes only Medical segment sales.

g.               Siemens Healthineers’ fiscal 2018 ended September 31, 2018. Sales figures converted from Euros.

h.               Sales figures converted from Swiss Francs.

In spite of Abbott's big jump in revenue in 2018, thanks in part to its acquisition of St. Jude Medical and in part to particularly good performances from segments like diabetes, electrophysiology and structural heart, the company is staying put in fifth position in the industry rankings. As we had noted, GE Healthcare's final quarter tends to be its best and the business once again delivered with solid Q4 sales, bumping up the full-top line to $19.8 billion and enabling it to hold on to its fourth position.

Additionally, while Stryker also put in a good show for 2018, widening the distance between itself and its league-table catch-up Roche, the Swiss company still managed to stay within the top 10.

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