Biomet uses sales boost to trim FY12 losses

With year-over-year sales growth in its biggest departments, Biomet is reporting a big reduction in its annual losses.

The device company reported a net loss of $388 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012, which ended May 31, down from $813 million a year earlier, and the difference was largely made up by surging sales numbers.

As The Wall Street Journal notes, Biomet's disclosure is an attention-grabber among industry-watchers, as the privately held company reports its results before competitors like Stryker ($SYK) and Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), possibly providing a glimpse of what to expect as publicly traded companies publicize their results later this summer.

If indeed Biomet's 2012 is indicative of the industry on the whole, we may see some surging sales figures. Biomet's net sales increased 4% over the last fiscal year, and the largest increase came in the company's sports, extremities and trauma unit, which saw a 13% boost in 2012. While U.S. and European sales stayed mostly flat, Biomet saw its international business--composed mostly of Canada, South America, Mexico and the Pacific Rim--increase 13%.

In June, Biomet ponied up $280 million for J&J's DePuy trauma unit, looking to boost its own offerings in the sector. The Indiana company also said it is doing some "strategic exploratory work" and considering spinning off its dental division.

- read Biomet's release
- check out the WSJ story
- see the company's full financials (PDF)