- Medical technology group Smith and Nephew swung to a first-half loss after restriction were placed on elective surgery in the fight against Covid-19.

The company held its interim dividend steady at 14.4c per share, while touting its 'strong balance sheet and good liquidity'.

Pre-tax losses for the six months through June amounted to $34m, compared to a profit of $383m on-year. Revenue dropped 18% to $2.04bn.

Smith and Nephew said its 2020 guidance remained withdrawn due to continuing uncertainty regarding the impact of the pandemic.

Still, it said its performance had improved across the second quarter as elective surgeries restarted, with underlying revenue declines of around 47% in April, 27% in May and 12% in June.

'We have continued to serve our customers throughout, and were ready as lockdown restrictions eased, delivering an improving performance across the second quarter,' chief executive Roland Diggelmann said.

'At the same time, we have taken measures to ensure the group emerges from this crisis as strongly as possible.'

'These include maintaining our R&D investment, launching new products, protecting jobs, and managing our cost base.'

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