Strong heart valve sales propel Q4 growth for Edwards

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Edwards Lifesciences, a developer of products and technologies to treat advanced cardiovascular disease, reported strong gains in revenue and income for its fiscal 2008 fourth quarter, which ended Dec. 31, 2008.

For the period, the company booked net income of $38.1 million, a more than 100 percent surge compared with net income of $15.8 million for the same period in 2007.

The Irvine, Calif.-based company said its fourth quarter net sales increased 5.7 percent to $309.7 million, compared with $293 million in the same quarter last year.

The firm said underlying sales growth, which excludes discontinued products, foreign exchange and a previously disclosed product retrieval, was 13.2 percent.

"Our heart valve therapy franchise achieved very strong growth for the quarter, propelled by the continued momentum of our Edwards Sapien valve in Europe," said Michael A. Mussallem, Edwards' chairman and CEO.

"In the U.S., our surgical heart valve sales were lifted by the launch of our Magna mitral valve and we continued to see double-digit sales growth outside of the U.S.," Mussallem noted.

For the quarter, the company sold $18.5 million of Sapien valves, resulting in first year sales of $53 million.