Reykjavik, Iceland based Ossur is a leading innovator, developer and manufacturer of non-invasive orthopaedic products such as prosthetics and braces. Ossur’s core competency lies within working with silicones, carbon composites, textiles and mechatronics to help patients live according to its motto “Life without Limitations”. Best known for its world leading lower limb prosthetics, Ossur is at the forefront in incorporating electronics into prosthetics and thereby creating products that more naturally mimic normal gait, increasing amputees' quality of life.
Underappreciated aspects of Össur’s business include: 1) the company is driving product innovation within high-tech, high margin bionics and thereby higher profitability (currently bionics accounts for ~23% of prosthetics revenue but only ~2% of volume), 2) a further-improved product mix, with the acquisition of less technologically advanced, lower-priced prosthetics which are optimal for high growth, emerging markets and 3) improving efficiencies in the organisation, which is running at structurally excessive cost levels e.g. G&A-to-sales ratio above 10% vs. best of breed at 3-4%.
Primary risks include: 1) competitive product launches, with segments operating in highly competitive industries, 2) the growth in Prosthetics is currently driven primarily by increased units prices as consumers trade up, while the volume growth is minimal. Failure by Össur to prove its products’ value to payors and patients and thereby accept higher prices for innovation leaves Össur vulnerable to growth disappointments. 3) Össur is facing a balancing act, to improve efficiencies in its operations while not disrupting its product quality, and 4) high dependency on reimbursement changes (government and insurance) can trigger reduced spending and change product choices.