Hill-Rom Holdings holds Hill-Rom Company, which, in turn, holds hospital patients safe and secure. Hill-Rom makes, sells, and rents hospital beds and other patient-room furniture and equipment, along with stretchers, surgical table accessories, and other equipment for lifting and transporting patients. The company also sells non-invasive therapeutic products and surfaces for the care of pulmonary, bariatric, and circulatory conditions and wounds. As most of its beds are designed to connect to patient monitoring equipment, Hill-Rom also provides information technology products for use in health care settings. Its primary customers include worldwide acute and long-term care facilities.
Hill-Rom operates a broad network of service centers that includes about 190 in locations across North America and 25 in other regions. The company maintains manufacturing operations in Australia, France, Mexico, Singapore, Sweden, and the US. It also operates distribution and sales centers in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Its main research and development activities are located in the US in Cary, North Carolina and Batesville, Indiana; Montpelier and Pluvigner, France; Lulea, Sweden; and Singapore.
The company's North America Acute Care segment (serving hospitals and surgical centers) remains its largest segment, with more than 60% of sales. Contracts with hospital group purchasing organizations (GPOs) make up most of its hospital sales and rentals in North America.
Hill-Rom sees room for future growth in the post-acute care market (long-term care facilities and home care). It has been expanding its post-acute care business via new product launches, distribution agreements, and acquisitions. Another area of growth the company is developing is the sale of products direct to consumers who seek hospital beds for home care settings.
Despite already having a solid sales foundation in the bed market, the company has looked to population trends to maintain a leading position. For example, Hill-Rom recognized the opportunity presented by the expanding waistlines of some of the global populace. To address this sector, its bariatric line of products, composed of beds, stretchers, and patient-moving devices, is designed to accommodate, in some cases, patients weighing up to 1,000 pounds. Some of its bariatric products include the TotalCare BariatricPlus bed system for patients up to 500 pounds, as well as a line of bariatric stretchers.
In order to take advantage of the health care industry's move toward digitization, Hill-Rom is expanding its range of health care information technology (HIT) products designed to let hospital staff communicate with patients and with each other, as well as manage patient data more effectively. It has also launched a line of "smart beds" that provide real-time data on patients.
International sales, which have increased steadily as the company continues to invest in both manufacturing and distribution in new markets, generated more than 30% of total sales in 2011. That year the company chose to remove its surgical reporting unit from its international segment to better track the progress of its international efforts. Hill-Rom further expanded its presence in Europe in 2012 by acquiring Germany-based Volker group for $85 million. The purchase added Volker's portfolio of long-term and acute-care bed frames, surfaces, and furniture for nursing homes to Hill-Rom's patient support systems.
In fiscal 2011 Hill-Rom's total revenue of $1.6 billion represented an 8% gain over 2010, with increases in each of the company's segments. The North America Acute Care segment (with the added surgical unit), reported the greatest gain over 2010 with a 12% increase due to higher volume sales of patient support systems (a more than 28% increase), information technology, and patient lifting products. The North America Post-Acute Care segment achieved less than a 2% increase in sales, and the company's international segment posted an increase of about 4%. Rental revenue dropped slightly to $472.7 million compared to $473 million in 2010. An anemic flu season early in the year affected Hill-Rom's therapy rental and moveable medical equipment operations. Net income for the year increased by 6% to $133 million.
Hill-Rom's strategy for growth is based on introducing new products into the marketplace on a cost-effective basis. The company also relies on deepening its reach within its existing markets while seeking out new ones. Establishing and maintaining positive working relations with GPOs is another key component to successfully growing its business. – less