In an April 23 conference call with investors and other stakeholders, Invacare Corp. announced first-quarter earnings for 2015, along with information about how the company would be proceeding.
Invacare CEO/President Matthew E. Monaghan said Invacare saw net sales growth of 2.3 percent in the first three months of 2015 compared to the first quarter last year, “excluding the impact of unfavorable foreign currency translation.”
Adding in foreign currency rates and what Monaghan called a “sales mix toward lower-margin customers and products” reduced Invacare’s “gross margin as a percentage of net sales by 0.5 of a percentage point compared to the first quarter of last year.”
In addition, Monaghan announced a management change, based on his belief “that the North American business needs specific attention in order to deliver improved financial results, and my direct involvement in the business will be critical. With that in mind, I have made a leadership change and now will run the North America/Home Medical Equipment and Institutional Product Group business segments on an interim basis.”
Invacare Corp. remains under a U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) consent decree regarding wheelchair manufacturing at its corporate and Taylor Street facilities in Elyria, Ohio.
“I am determined to build a strong quality systems culture at Invacare that meets the expectations of our third-party expert auditor and the FDA,” Monaghan said. “Based on my preliminary review, I believe our associates are making good progress on the key quality implementation plans that will help us achieve sustainable compliance and ultimately exit the injunctive phase of the consent decree. This is a critical priority for the organization.”
The announcement said Invacare must still complete a third-party certification audit that needs to be accepted by the FDA. The FDA will then inspect Invacare facilities to determine the company’s compliance before lifting the consent decree.