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ResMed, Inc. (NYSE:RMD)

Q3 2007 Earnings Call

November 1, 2007 5:00 pm ET

Executives

Peter C. Farrell - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Kieran T. Gallahue - President

Brett Sandercock - Chief Financial Officer

Keith Serzen - Chief Operating Officer, Americas

Analysts

Paul Choi - Merrill Lynch

Tim Lee - Caris & Company

Ben Andrew - William Blair & Company

Glenn Navarro - Banc of America Securities

Mike Madsen - Wachovia

Joanne Wuensch - BMO Capital Markets

Joshua Zable - Natixis

Andrew Goodsall - UBS

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, the company has asked me to address certain matters. First, ResMed does not authorize the recording of any portion of this conference call for any purpose. Second, during the call ResMed may make forward-looking statements such as projections of the future revenue or earnings, new product development or new markets for the company's products.

These statements are made under the Safe Harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Risks and uncertainties exist that could cause actual results to materially differ from the forward-looking statements. These factors are discussed in ResMed's SEC filings, such as Forms 10-Q and 10-K, which you may access through the company's website at www.resmed.com.

With that said, I would like it turn the call over to Dr. Peter Farrell, ResMed's Chairman and CEO. Dr. Farrell, please go ahead.

Peter Farrell

Thank you, Jeremy, very much. Let me start straight into it. Revenue for the quarter was $185.7 million, around $186 million, an increase of 14% over the year ago quarter. Pro forma income from operations was $40.4 million, and pro forma net income was $30.6 million.

Pro forma diluted EPS for the quarter was $0.39, an increase of 5% compared to the '06 September quarter. GAAP operating income was $31.8 million for the quarter, while net income was $24.1 or $0.31 per diluted share. GAAP gross margin was $60.2 for the quarter ended September 30, '07.

Let me note that the closing price on the U.S. dollar to the Aussie was $0.75 a year ago quarter and this quarter was $0.89, so there was a 19% increase due to the depreciation of the U.S. dollar and that's basically unprecedented. If we run that through EPS, it’s about $0.0125. So that is a pretty big hit.

Pro forma SG&A for the quarter was $59 million, an increase of $8.5 million or 17%. Pro forma SG&A costs were 32% of revenue for this quarter just ended, compared to 31% in the same quarter a year ago. GAAP SG&A was $62.9 million, 18% up, and in constant currency terms pro forma SG&A costs increased by 11% compared to the same period a year ago.

Again, we were a hit by the depreciating U.S. dollar, which flowed through to, as I already mentioned to EPS, and we're looking at 11% constant currency versus the actual number of 18%. So that's quite a hit.

Pro forma R&D expenditure was $12.6 million, 7% of revenues. GAAP virtually the same, $13 million, again 7% of revenues and this increased 20% over the year ago quarter and again U.S. depreciation, U.S. dollar depreciation was a significant contributor to the 20% R&D expense and in constant currency was actually 9%.

Amortization of acquired intangibles, $1.8 million, $1.2 net of tax and the amortization of assets was associated with various acquisitions. Stock based compensation during the quarter was as expected, $4.5 million, $3.4 million net of tax.

Restructuring, there was a restructuring cost for a Basel office downsizing, $2.3 million. And as noted there is another $200,000, which will hit the quarter that we're currently in. Inventory $167 million, increased by $9.9 million, and DSO’s at 79 days were essentially consistent with the June DSO’s.

In the first quarter of the fiscal year '08, overall American sales were up 9%, but actually 11% when we take into account the motor division sales or excluding those. And parenthetically let me note that was around $300,000, in the year ago quarter it was $2.1 million.

So, there was a loss there of $1.8 million and going forward the comparables are going to be a little more favorable to us. Sales outside of the Americas, $88.1 million, an encouraging 19% increase year-over-year, and operating cash flow for the quarter just ended the September quarter, $28.1 million and that's fairly encouraging, that compares with a net income of $24.1 million.

A couple of comments, the new full face mask offerings, the Quattro and the Liberty, are going extremely well. They're excellent products and in our view more than competitive and allows us to keep a price differential.

We're also excited about the launch of our new S8, an extremely quiet S8 II flow generator. It has been launched in Asia Pac and selected European markets, in particular Germany. We have incorporated in this our Easy-Breathe technology, really improved motor characteristics and if one combines the Swift II with the S8 II, the Whisper, it is the quietest CPAP on the market, and in fact the S8 II has a noise level of around 23 decibels, which is basically below our ability to hear.

In fact, we had reports back from some customers saying that they had to actually touch the device to make sure it was actually operating, and there is not much vibration there, either. So we remain very confident about market fundamentals and we have some new products on the horizon. And we're hopeful as we move forward in fiscal '08, Q3, Q4, we're hopeful of achieving our more usual growth pattern for the people that have been expecting over the past decade or so.

I will also note finally, that we have an extremely strong balance sheet, cash, cash equivalents, $278 million and our retained earnings are getting close to $0.5 billion are actually a shade over $460, but very close to $0.5 billion in retained earnings. So, we have a very strong balance sheet, which gives us flexibility.

So now let me throw it open to Q&A.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

(Operator Instructions) Your first question comes from the line of Paul Choi with Merrill Lynch. Go ahead.

Paul Choi - Merrill Lynch

Good afternoon, Peter.

Peter Farrell

Paul, how are you?

Paul Choi - Merrill Lynch

Fine, thank you. Let me first say congratulations to you and also to Kieran on the recent announcement there, and best of luck to both of you here.

Peter Farrell

Thank you, Paul.

Kieran Gallahue

Thank Paul.

Paul Choi - Merrill Lynch

Okay. Maybe for my first question here, just if I could focus on the gross margin here, historically I think in terms of your business mix we've usually seen an up tick in masks as a percentage of revenue here in the first quarter versus the previous quarter, which I think generally tends to help on you the margin side.

But could you help us understand a little bit what effects contributed in terms of your margin tick down here, and also what factor are sort of price played in here in terms of the sequential gross margin decline?

Peter Farrell

Right, well the first point is, which I have are already alluded to, Paul, is that we had an unprecedented 19% increase in our costs just simply due to the depreciation of the U.S. dollar relative to the Aussie. The closing currency was $0.75 U.S. to $1 Aussie dollar a year ago quarter and now it was $0.89, and I think today it has hit $0.93.

So this is that's unprecedented. However, having said that, there were certainly price pressures, ASPs, which we talked about on the previous two earnings calls. There has been pressure due to our major competitor dropping prices significantly buy 7, get 10 type of activity, so on the lower end products this obviously impacted the gross margin.

We think it looks as though, as best we can assess it looks as though the pricing has stabilized, and Keith you might want to make a comment on that in the U.S. which is where most of the price pressure was. We still are getting because of the quality of our products; we're still getting a 10% to 15% up tick in our masks. We expect that to continue.

The Swift II, the Quattro and the Liberty are extremely good products. We're very happy with them. But as far as gross margin going forward, as we look into the wild blue yonder, with the U.S. dollar as I said trading at around $0.93 to the Aussie dollar as of this morning.

We'll be looking at around a 60 to 61 mark, but probably more likely a 60 as far as we can see. Do you to make a comment, Keith or Brett?

Kieran Gallahue

Actually, this is Kieran. Let me just add one thing to that. We have not been, as you're suggesting, we have not seen in the United States and some of the other, actually some of the European countries, we have not seen prices go below where we saw them, sort of the most aggressive deals several months ago.

What we are seeing is it is sort of going across the market now, and you're seeing more customers getting those similar prices. So the positive sign here is it appears that there’s a floor that has been established here for a number of months, and the market dynamic is that we'll see those prices go to a broader range of customers over time.

So pretty much what we expected to see is it is pretty much what we've been saying here the last three, four months that we expected to see throughout this year, and I don't think there’s any change in that dynamic at that point.

Peter Farrell

Okay.

Paul Choi - Merrill Lynch

Okay. Then in just maybe as my follow-up, the international growth up ticked a little bit here, it looks like to rates we haven't seen here in a couple of quarters. Can you help us sort of parse out maybe what the currency benefit was or are we starting to see deeper penetration overseas?

Peter Farrell

Yes, I think, with the exception of Germany, we had extremely strong growth. And Germany, we're through that, unfortunately, Lasse Beijer is traveling, arrives in Australia later today, but Germany is softer than we would like.

We've done what we believe we need to do in Germany. It is a work in progress, but even given Germany being weaker than we would like, the results were pretty good, and the constant currency figures, Brett, do you have that in front of you?

Brett Sandercock

Yes. It conceptually the impact on revenues of the appreciating Euro and Aussie pretty much added around $6 million to the revenue number for this quarter.

Paul Choi - Merrill Lynch

Okay. Great, thank you very much.

Operator

And your next question is from the line of Tim Lee with Caris & Company. You may proceed.

Tim Lee - Caris & Company

Good afternoon, gentlemen.

Peter Farrell

How are you, Tim?

Tim Lee - Caris & Company

Just in the U.S., with pricing somewhat stabilizing, are we turning the corner and we can kind of think of this quarter as the low water mark and we can move up here from growth here on a going-forward basis?

Peter Farrell

Well, Tim, I think we flagged last earnings call, in fact, I know we did. The first two quarters of '08 were going to be a struggle, and that's mainly because of the comparables, I mean we have got the ResMed motor technologies which we talked about on the last couple of calls.

We've still got a couple of million there, and as you know, the sales there have basically gone very far south. So we still got top comparables for Q2 '08, and I think as we look into the future, Q3 and Q4 look pretty comfortable for us.

Tim Lee - Caris & Company

And just in terms, one quick follow-up on the international side again. The 18% growth, I mean that's not a blended number, so what is the international growth ex-Germany, so give us a sense of what growth could get to once Germany gets back on track.

Peter Farrell

Love to answer that, Tim, but that's not on the agenda.

Tim Lee - Caris & Company

Thought I'd try.

Peter Farrell

But thanks for the question.

Tim Lee - Caris & Company

All right, I'll get back in queue. Thank you.

Peter Farrell

Okay.

Operator

And your next question is from the line of Ben Andrew with William Blair.

Ben Andrew - William Blair

Good afternoon, Peter.

Peter Farrell

How are you, Ben?

Ben Andrew - William Blair

Very well, thanks.

Peter Farrell

Good.

Ben Andrew - William Blair

And just maybe being a bit more specific on some of the P&L items, if you back out currency completely from the equation, what is the overall impact on EPS, by your calculations?

Peter Farrell

I will throw that to Brett. My rough calculation is $0.015. Brett?

Brett Sandercock

Yeah, if you roll it through and watch all accounting impact through and try and model that, Ben, when we had a look at it, I think it is in the order of $0.01 to $0.015 for EPS, so the previous number there is pretty much spot-on as you roll it through.

That's the sort of impact. If you look at that against overall net income, you're looking at about a 4%, roughly that sort of number, impact from currency. You can't be levels stay as they are, and that’s probably what will end up washing through the course of '08. So that's pretty much the impact as we see it at the moment.

Peter Farrell

The bottom line, Ben, is that it is not fair.

Ben Andrew - William Blair

Let's call the Fed and tell them to start raising rates.

Peter Farrell

Yeah, well, somebody has got to help.

Ben Andrew - William Blair

My follow-up question then is, as you think about the sheer magnitude of new products that you've got flowing through, Peter, why aren't we seeing better traction in sales?

I mean, is price just that flat-out important to people but with sales growth, I should say, with the Quattro, the Liberty, all the different things coming through, why isn't that having a bigger impact?

Peter Farrell

Well again, Kieran referred to the price spread, and that's just something that's happened. It is hard to get an actual, definite figure, how many of the customers does it flow through to, but I suspect we're through all of that. My guess would be 90%.

So, you’ve got those lower prices. Now it is mainly impacting the S8 Escape, the Tango, that lower end that 25% issue of the market.

We've been able to maintain, as I already indicated, 10% to 15% higher prices for the masked products, and we're doing extremely well with the order-setting products, and of course the VPAP Adapt SV, I mean, Respironics have come out with their competitive product, and they're hammering that pretty well.

We're very confident that as people get exposed to our algorithm, with the Easy-Breathe technology and the much easier ease of use of our products, and they're pre-emptive.

That is and we've had a couple of cases where patients just have not done well on the competitive product, and have switched to the VPAP Adapt SV, or the ACS II as it is outside the U.S. It’s just a very robust unit.

Now, there is a lot of stuff that's got to wash through, but we are very, very happy with the Swift II, the Quattro, and the Liberty.

Traditionally, you do see an up tick when we come out with new products, and we are doing well with them, but it is a balance between the price pressures and, as Kieran mentioned, flowing through particularly the U.S. market, which is 53% of our total revenues of the Americas, and it just is what it is.

I mean it is sort of inexplicable. We looked at some of those actions, and it’s not exactly logical to us. Maybe it is a game plan there.

But since there were no real price pressures coming from the customers, the DME’s and the HME’s, it was just a grab for market share, and we just didn't jump over the cliff.

Ben Andrew - William Blair

But, is it fair to say that unit volumes you would normally expect with a new product cycle are coming through but they're being partially offset by price?

Peter Farrell

Correct.

Ben Andrew - William Blair

So you are not saying…

Peter Farrell

You should have answered my questions; you should have answered your question.

Ben Andrew - William Blair

I am just trying to get…

Peter Farrell

That's it in a nutshell.

Ben Andrew - William Blair

You're not disappointed by the unit volume on the new products, though?

Peter Farrell

No.

Kieran Gallahue

Not at all, the new products are doing very, very well. The challenge really comes down to on some of the existing products where we have premiums that start to, the delta in pricing between our closest competitors start to get above that 10% to 15% range, when they start to get to 20% to 25%, there is volume implications on that.

Ben Andrew - William Blair

Right, but the…

Kieran Gallahue

But the new products are doing great.

Ben Andrew - William Blair

But your unit volume growth overall for the masks and generators is satisfying, but it is being partially offset by price.

Peter Farrell

Right, now, look, you can always if you look at individual products, and you say well, why that isn’t doing better, et cetera. I think we talked about the Tango, and it’s a terrific unit, but it is in fact D featured.

I mean in terms of its characteristics, operating characteristics, noise, et cetera, you can tick all the boxes, but it doesn't have EPR on it, and we've seen that our guys are just not as good as selling into that low or essential care model as Apria calls it, selling into that space.

So that hasn't gone as well as we would have liked. I might say that it's improved, and there was the distraction of the recall, that's where we're working through that, but we're going to have to live with that through to the end of fiscal year, but it is much less frenetic.

I mean, it's down from spending a quarter's of the guy's times on the average to around 10% to 15%, that did still having a small impact, but again as I said, it is fading.

But yeah, at the lower end there which is, call it 25% to 30% of the market, and the price pressures are pretty significant, and the competition has been dropping their prices in their featured units, and that makes it a difficult space to operate in.

Ben Andrew - William Blair

Okay. Thank you.

Peter Farrell

Keith, I don't know if you want to add anything to that.

Keith Serzen

No, Peter, I think you did a fine job with that.

Operator

And gentlemen, your next question comes from the line of Glenn Navarro with Banc of America Securities. Go ahead.

Glenn Navarro - Banc of America Securities

Thanks. Good afternoon, guys. Peter, on your guidance for the second half, you commented that you expected growth to get back to more market-like growth, and I am assuming you're referring to top line.

Peter Farrell

Yes.

Glenn Navarro - Banc of America Securities

So a couple of questions, do you view market growth as 15% or closer to 20%, and just to piggyback off of Ben's questions, are you referring to unit growth being back to market because I would imagine you're still going to face some pricing pressures on a year-over-year basis in the back end of the year?

So that's a question one. If you can answer, and then you didn't mention anything about the SA recall. Should we assume at this point it is completely behind you? Thanks.

Peter Farrell

Okay. Let me take your first question, Glenn. We are talking unit growth. In fact, we were at a conference yesterday and there was a big discussion.

There was a panel discussion where people from the U.S. were hooked in and so on and so forth. I am in Sydney.

And the general consensus, and there is a bit of an echo chamber to this sort of thing, like you start believing your own echoes a little bit, but we still believe that outside the U.S. it is around 15%, and that's ROW in general, and in the U.S. it’s around 20%, and we are indeed talking about volumes of devices.

Now, you can picture some scenarios where you can get an up tick going forward, as we penetrate into some of the areas we're focusing on like occupational health and safety, for example.

We are sort of optimistic, but at the moment as we look out there, I think you can almost put the better volume growth of the order of 15% ROW and 20% in the U.S.

And again, you're quite right. The pricing pressures, the prices, the prices, they're not going to go away unless you innovate, and you've got features where people say, my God, I have always wanted one of those, whatever it is.

We know that you can ask for and get higher prices. We are optimistic on some of that stuff, but we can't talk about that specifically at the moment.

Glenn Navarro - Banc of America Securities

Just from a modeling point of view, in our reported revenue numbers in our models we should be a touch below that 15% to 20%, which would reflect some of the pricing pressures you'd still face on a year-over-year basis.

Peter Farrell

Or I think that's fair. I think that’s fair. Now, on your second question, the recall, our estimate is that we're 30% to 40% through it, but the thing now is it's going reasonably smoothly. I mean as well as these things can go the stuff that we do ourselves where we're well and truly on top of it and obviously we’re using Stericycle.

And when it is once removed from your control, you do tend to have things not run at quite as smoothly, but I think on the average, and I will get Keith to comment on this, on the average I think we're fairly satisfied.

We're satisfied with the amount of provisioning we made. We're satisfied, if you looked into the wild blue yonder and said we're a shade under 40% of the units back, you'd say, well, we would like a higher number, but it is what it is.

It is like you take your car in, and you get something in the mail, and your Mercedes, something wrong with the brakes, and I don't know what you do, but I wait until my next service. So, there is a bit of that going on but, Keith, do you want to add anything?

Keith Serzen

Peter, I believe that you've answered that adequately as well.

Peter Farrell

Okay, well, thank you.

Keith Serzen

We have the inventory under control, Stericycle has the process under control, the start-up issues that you'd have anytime you go through something this large are for the most part behind us, and I think we're gathering momentum with this very nicely, but it will be with us for the balance of this calendar year, as we said all along.

Glenn Navarro - Banc of America Securities

Is it by any chance, again a piggybacking off of one of Ben's questions, as to why maybe you're not doing a little bit better with these launches because usually you do very well with a new product launch?

Do you think, is there any more sales force distraction out there or is that behind us?

Kieran Gallahue

Glenn, what Peter had mentioned earlier on is that we still are getting some level of sales force distraction, hard to quantify it in specific terms.

We estimate it to be in the 10% to 15% kind of a range, which means it has some impact, but not much, certainly not like it was in the first quarter and actually at a declining rate as we move forward.

And I would imagine that, as we get closer and closer to the end of this that any commitments of the sales force time on this will continue to get smaller.

Glenn Navarro - Banc of America Securities

Okay, great. Thanks for taking my questions.

Peter Farrell

And, Keith, I just listening to your answers, there I just wish you were on the compensation committee.

Operator

Sir, your next question comes from the line of Mike Madsen with Wachovia.

Mike Madsen - Wachovia

Thanks for taking my call.

Peter Farrell

Hi, Mike.

Mike Madsen - Wachovia

I guess first of all, just I know about this time last year, you all had implemented your internet policy, and I know it is a very small percentage of your sales, but I guess I believe that you're going to be lapping that starting in the December quarter, so that may give you a slight boost to your revenue growth.

Is that a fair assessment?

Peter Farrell

Yes, I think it is. Keith is very close to the internet policy, and I think in fact Keith was the person who was most adamant that we really needed to put our foot down concerning internet sales.

And just to reiterate what we said before, that is because guys that are selling on the Internet feel no responsibility, at least a lot of them that don't have DME attached to it or an HME; they don't feel any responsibility to call the patient because they don't get paid for it.

So, we just think its bad medicine, but Keith, why don't you give us an update.

Keith Serzen

I just got a message from one of our Vice Presidents of Sales this morning that told me about two customers in the northeastern part of the United States that had made a decision within the last two days to switch over all of their business to ResMed because we are the only one with an internet policy.

And we are getting more stories like that as people do understand what our messaging has been. They do understand the impact on patient care and the impact on the DME service model, and are now beginning to take action on just how they're directing their business.

So, Mike, in answer to your question about whether we measure anything in relationship to the anniversary date of our internet policy, I don't think we've got it quantified like that in any way, shape or form.

It is more of a gut-level check from what we're hearing from the sales force as our customers understand the messaging that we've been trying to get across and are now taking action on that messaging. We remain very pleased with our internet policy, and we remain very committed to our internet policy.

Mike Madsen - Wachovia

All right.

Peter Farrell

I think what we actually would like is for some of our competitors, one in particular, to follow suit. We just think it is just better medicine. If you don't get compliance, everybody loses.

Mike Madsen - Wachovia

It is understandable, let's see. Just on competitive bidding, and I apologize if this question has come up, I was on another conference call, but just what are you hearing from the HMEs in the initial areas?

I realize it’s a very small portion of your revenues at this point, but just trying to understand maybe what the longer-term impact of that will be? Do you have any kind of sense of where the bids are ending up or anything along those lines?

Peter Farrell

I am going to try that. You're quite right. It’s not right in our sweet spot there in terms of concerns. I am going to throw that again to Keith.

Keith Serzen

So we don't know where the bids are coming in yet. We, know just as you do, Mike, when the bids are coming in, and supposed to be sorted out. The long-term impact of that, who knows?

It is really interesting to us that it seems that more of the bidders within a given marketplace seem to be not from that given marketplace, that we've got people who haven't done business in a given market are now using this as an opportunity to try to expand their business models into a different geographical area.

But in terms of, it basically is a discussion point for people in the industry. It is a worry point for what the long range implications are, but you still have a lot of people that wondering whether they will ever be able to pull it off and go from the first ten MSAs to the second level with this.

And once again as you heard us discuss many times before, it is still at the end of the day such a relatively small part of our business that we don't think it is going to have a material effect on our business.

Mike Madsen - Wachovia

Okay. And then just, can you provide an update on your sales force structure, just how much are they focusing on the sleep labs versus HME’s, because I guess it seems like in the past I know I guess Respironics had made more of a push into the sleep labs, and I know you guys probably had a presence in both, but just wondering if you can give us an update there?

Keith Serzen

Are you asking me to answer that question for the U.S. market, Mike?

Mike Madsen - Wachovia

More U.S. focused I guess, to be honest.

Keith Serzen

Okay. So we have for the last several years had an increased level of focus on the sleep lab with our sales reps as well as with our clinical team. That continues. We view the sleep labs as an incredibly important call point for us, both from a standpoint of the scripting that they do as well as from the increasing level of vertical integration with the sleep labs dispensing therapy.

So our call pattern has not changed much over the last two years. We continue to market our technology to the sleep labs, and our Adapt SV, and the success we've had with that, kind of speaks to the presence that we've had in the sleep labs. It remains high, will remain high.

Mike Madsen - Wachovia

Okay. That's all I've got. Thanks a lot.

Operator

And your next question is from the line of Joanne Wuensch with BMO Capital Markets. Go ahead.

Joanne Wuensch - BMO Capital Markets

Thank you for taking my question.

Peter Farrell

Hi, Joanne.

Joanne Wuensch - BMO Capital Markets

Hi. Can you give us a breakout between masks and flow generators in the quarter?

Peter Farrell

Yes, we can certainly attempt to do that. Give me two seconds here. Okay. I will give you a geographic mix which is 53%, in fact, that's almost identical to the last few quarters. But 53% for the Americas, 39% was Europe, and 8% was Asia Pac.

In looking to flow generators, and masks and accessories, the flow generators were 14% increase. The masks and accessories were 13% increase, and the overall was 14%. So they are pretty in line. But you asked for the split.

And I think Joanne; you wanted the split between the sales. What percentage was masks and accessories, right?

Joanne Wuensch - BMO Capital Markets

And what percentage of them came from what markets?

Keith Serzen

So the Americas versus ROW, do you want me to give those, Peter?

Peter Farrell

Yes, why don't you do that Chris?

Kieran Gallahue

Kieran, here.

Peter Farrell

Yes.

Keith Serzen

Hasn't done this for about 15 years, but that's all right.

Kieran Gallahue

The Americas, let me just do the normal breakout, in the Americas flow generators were up 12%, masks and accessories were up 7%, for a total of 9%.

Peter Farrell

Bear in mind the total increase was 11% because that's messed up a little bit by ResMed Motor Technologies, so the overall was bottom was 11% if we're…

Kieran Gallahue

And if we back out RMT, the flow generators were 12% and masks and accessories 11%.

Peter Farrell

12% and 11% is closer to the truth. The 7% reflects that impact of our loss of external business for RMT.

Kieran Gallahue

On the ROW side, flow generators were up 16%, masks and accessories were up 25%, for a total of 19%, and then again that puts down to the 14% total business.

Joanne Wuensch - BMO Capital Markets

Okay. And if I did my math right, it looks like you had a lower tax rate this quarter, in the 28% range. Can you comment on that and tell me what we should be thinking about on a go-forward basis?

Brett Sandercock

Joanne, it is Brett. That's right. That tax rate for this quarter is a little lower. In Germany they actually reduced their corporate tax rate by around 10%, so we did have a one-off benefit around $700,000.

And we restated some of our deferred tax balances over there, so if you back that out, we're back to more like a 30.8% effective tax rate, and I think going forward it should be sort of around that sort of level, certainly won't continue at that low tax rate for Q1, but around sort of 30.8% mark.

Joanne Wuensch - BMO Capital Markets

Okay. And then, can you comment on where you think diagnosis is going to come out?

Peter Farrell

Yeah. Again, there was a discussion, a panel yesterday, and I don't want to give any investment bank a free kick, but the consensus was that it will happen. And if you ask me, I am saying it’s about 75% sure.

Why do I say that? First of all it’s you have the rumor mill, which is never very accurate. But second, when NCD’s are looked at and normally when CMS makes a decision, they rarely reconsider it within a five-year period at least that's what we've been told. This is about two years and it would seem that there is some feeling within CMS that portal monitoring is a sensible way to go.

Now, if you look at the prevalence of sleep disorder breathing versus, say, type-2 diabetes or asthma. And if you use that as kind of a model, you cannot even imagine a circumstance, where every asthmatic patient for a Ventolin dose had to go and see a pulmonologist or a respirologist, I mean the system would just collapse.

And the same is also true, if one looks at diabetes. I mean management of diabetes is really mostly primarily care physicians, internists, and so forth. The specialists see the acute exacerbations, so when the dam actually breaks and the sleep market starts to mature, people will be begging for portable monitoring.

And we see the growth potential beyond the current structure, where you have the structure of DME’s and HME’s, they'll still be very important going forward, but we see that that paradigm has to change really because it is just not set up for scalability. And portal monitoring will become part of it and I am pretty sure we're on the right tack there.

When are these things going to happen? Obviously a favorable NCD ruling is going to be right in the sweet spot. The question is, how prescriptive or restrictive will that be? And that I think is really where we're very, very unsure.

Now, clearly the AASM, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine who opposed, very adamantly opposed portable monitoring. One might say there is a little bit of conflict there because of lot of the members of the AASM actually own their own sleep labs.

But my comment to that would be you're much better off fishing in the Pacific Ocean than Lake Ontario. In other words, you got these big nets you pull in all sorts of other sleep disorder problems. It will be a different mix than what the labs are currently addressing.

There will be much more narcolepsy, cataplexy etcetera. And also complex sleep apnea, which is really the space where that ought to be treated in the sleep lab, so the easy low hanging fruit, if you like, will be taken care of I think outside the current structure.

But look, that's just blue sky. I think, yes, it will be approved. I could be wrong, obviously. I don't know, but I would say it’s a 75%. What would be the concern is how restrictive is that and is CMS trying to keep everybody happy in which case, if it’s very restrictive then, you know, it’s not going to really advance the field.

Joanne Lynch - BMO Capital Markets

Thank you very much.

Peter Farrell

Thank you.

Operator

Then your next questions from the line of Joshua Zable of Natixis, go ahead.

Joshua Zable - Natixis

Hey, guys. Thanks for taking my question.

Peter Farrell

Hi, Joshua.

Joshua Zable - Natixis

Just wanted to get some more color on S8 II. I know I am surprised no one else asked this earlier. I know you went into a little detail about the technology.

I am trying to understand. The name obviously of the S8 II would indicate that is in the same footprint as the S8 but the name changed as opposed to one of those fancy names you usually give it, maybe it's more than that, it’s just not technology, I don't know. Can you give me a little bit more color on it?

Peter Farrell

Yes. The naming is always one of these things, you know, why isn't it an S9 and so on, but it is the same footprint, and I guess that's what really determined in most people's minds, the consensus if you like, to call it an S8. But it is a really completely redesigned motor.

I mean I was in Europe and Sweden for the European Respiratory Society meeting towards the end of September, and we had the guys there had done some demonstrations in Switzerland and Austria. And two sleep physicians, our sales guys, and the reports back were just incredibly encouraging.

This is one quiet unit, but in addition to that, with the redesign of the internal, in particular the motor, the breathing characteristics are just absolutely stunning. You know, breathing in and out, there is virtually no change at all in the pressure.

In other words, some devices, you go back years ago, you get swings of 4 to 5 centimeters breathing in and breathing out. It was just awful impedance. This thing is almost zero impedance. It is quiet as a mouse. I mean, you can believe your own dreams to a certain extent, but I talked to the Austrian and Swiss guys who did the demonstration. And this is a great product.

Joshua Zable - Natixis

I guess what I am trying to understand is the way to think about it, sort of as the highest end of the S8 family or is this going to be, even though it’s the same footprint. Is this going to replace the S8 and sort of the same way the S8 took over for the S7, the S8 II in a similar footprint but now you get all the different features of the various S8 models but on a much quieter model?

Peter Farrell

Listen, Joshua, if you want to buy quite a few of the older versions, we can probably help you out. Yes. The characteristics will flow through all of the S8 family, and we think it is going to be, it is going to be really well received as I said, so yes, it is going to flow through all the family. And frankly we're excited about it.

Kieran Gallahue

And this is Kieran, just to add a little bit to Peter's comments, when you say substantially the same, Josh, this is actually the same. So, from the outside of the box, you're not going see a difference other than some of the labeling. We're using the same box so that we can get scale opportunities on that. So, you can use the same accessories.

It is seamless from a customer perspective, but it’s got a totally new engine in it. And the second thing to note is it hasn't been released yet, in the U.S. or in the Americas. It doesn't come until later in the fiscal year. So, we'll see that impact later on. This product is absolutely incredible. The engine, as Peter was noting, is quiet. It is capable, and it allows an increase in functionality.

Peter Farrell

In fact, the breathing characteristics, just to follow on from Kieran's comments there, are just so much better even though, the S8 is a great product, the breathing characteristics on this just kind of knock your socks off. It is a bit like getting a Porsche Turbo and putting a chip in it, and going from 450-horsepower to 600-horsepower. This is really a swish unit.

Joshua Zable - Natixis

Great, and then just on Saime, can we get an update? I know I usually ask this once a quarter.

Peter Farrell

We'll have to wait until Elisee comes. The wrinkles are out of the VS Series, the Ultra, the Integra, etcetera, that is coming off the blocks very nicely. We're happy with that. Still, some work to do on the 150, 250 and 350 Elisee. Every thing is moving in the right direction. Kieran, you might want to comment because you just were over with the European leadership team, but it was the same was a good buy.

We did get a few more surprises than we anticipated. We were locked in, as we said in previous conference calls, to not expanding the customer base, and we're getting ready now to go beyond that. Kieran, you might want to say a few words.

Kieran Gallahue

Yes, I think what you said is right on target. We're making very good progress on the quality side. We're moving a substantial portion, in fact all of it by the end of the year of the VS production down to our plant in Sydney, because the technology has stabilized to the point. And the quality levels have risen to the point, where we have the ability to do that.

So, it is a very encouraging sign from both quality and from the ability to increase capacity. And quality levels of Elisee, particularly the Elisee 150 have increased dramatically. So, the team is making very, very good progress on it. The business itself has grown in double-digits. So, we're quite pleased with it.

Peter Farrell

And just to add one more thing there, the 150 is obviously the main line product. The 250’s and 350’s are more your hospital-based products, so the 150 as a portable ventilator is where we want to be with a nice big screen, very customer friendly. If the thing works the way it is supposed to work.

Joshua Zable - Natixis

Great.

Peter Farrell

That's the more important one.

Joshua Zable - Natixis

Thanks, guys.

Operator

And your next question is from the line of Andrew Goodsall of UBS. You may proceed.

Andrew Goodsall - UBS

Good morning, team. I just wanted to get an indication…

Peter Farrell

Good meeting yesterday, Andrew.

Andrew Goodsall - UBS

Yes, great, glad you came along. We really appreciated it. Try to give me a bit of information on what sort of contribution Adapt SV had made to this result.

Peter Farrell

Yes, we’re seeing. We don't breakdown products into how is X, Y and Z going, but it is double-digit growth.

Andrew Goodsall - UBS

Okay. Great, thanks very much.

Peter Farrell

All right, Andrew.

Operator

And there are no further questions at this time.

Peter Farrell

Excellent, thanks.

Kieran Gallahue

All right, so, why don't we wrap up the call? Peter, do you want to do the wrap-up?

Peter Farrell

I think we've probably exhausted everything, Kieran, unless you want to say goodbye to everybody. I am happy to say goodbye.

Kieran Gallahue

Sounds like a good idea. Thank you for all your interest today.

Peter Farrell

Thanks very much, guys.

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