- Medical technology group Smith & Nephew said it expected to report a fall in fourth-quarter revenue amid a surge in Covid-19 infection rates.

Underlying revenue for the three months through December was seen falling by around 7%, bringing the fall for the full year to around 12%.

'Sales were impacted by increased rates of Covid-19 infection from mid-October onwards, particularly in the US and Europe where more procedures were postponed following the reintroduction of restrictions,' the company said.

The impact was most pronounced at the company's orthopaedic reconstruction, sports medicine and ENT businesses, driven by lower levels of elective surgery.

The advanced wound management and trauma businesses remained more resilient.

Smith & Nephew reiterated that its trading profit margin would be substantially down year-on-year, with negative operating leverage due to lower volumes partially offset by cost control measures.

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