[July 18, 2014]COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - The U.S.
hearing aid market grew 6 percent year-on-year in June, driven by an
increase in sales to Veterans Affairs (VA), a government program for
military veterans, data from Bernstein Research showed on Friday.
U.S. sales can make a significant contribution to the results of
several European companies. Military veterans account for about 20
percent of all hearing aid units dispensed in the United States.
Hearing aid sales to the VA rose 12 percent in June from June 2013,
up from a year-on-year increase of 4 percent in May, the data
Switzerland's Sonova and Danish companies William Demant and GN
Resound, a unit of GN Store Nord, each generate about 35 to 45
percent of their revenues from North America, with most of that
coming from the United States.
Three Danish firms - William Demant, GN Store Nord and unlisted firm
Widex A/S - together supply about half of the world's hearing aids.
Sonova has the biggest VA share at around 55 percent, while GN Store
Nord and William Demant have around 8 percent each.
At the start of 2014, hearing aid sales were hit hard by severe
winter weather, when consumer spending in general fell.
Sales contracted 4 percent in January but bounced back to grow in
the last five months "mainly on the back of strong performance in
the Veterans Administration program", Bernstein Research analyst
Lisa Clive wrote in a note.