Med tech companies have found only one reliable way to boost sales–that’s to buy them. The only players with sizable sales increases last year were driven by major acquisitions, according to data from Evaluate Medtech.* In fact, only two of the 10 companies as ranked by medical device and diagnostics sales actually had positive sales growth without an acquisition.
Medtronic ($MDT) made the biggest sales gains on the back of its $43 billion acquisition of Covidien–with sales up 43%. Meanwhile, Becton Dickinson’s $12 billion buy of CareFusion boosted its sales by 26% last year.
Orthopedics player Stryker ($SYK) fared the best without a big deal on growing sales. But it only grew by 3% to almost $10 billion. Royal Philips ($PHG) eked out a 1% increase on its med tech sales–but it’s committed to doing better as it sheds its lighting businesses and devotes itself entirely to HealthTech.