Synthes 2008: Record Sales of USD 3,192.5 Million Grew 15.7 Percentage

Synthes announced its Full Year 2008 financial results with record Sales and record Net Earnings.

Fourth Quarter 2008

Global sales were US$ 811.3 million, +9.9% vs. prior year (PY) (14.4% in local currencies)

Double-digit local currency sales growth was once again achieved across all geographical regions and product groups

Continued accelerated sales growth and market share gains in Spine globally

Full Year 2008
Global sales at US$ 3,192.5 million increased by US$ 432.8 million ($371.0 million in LC)

Net earnings of US$ 735.0 million grew in excess of double-digit sales growth

Double-digit sales growth in all geographical regions and product groups driven by increased penetration of new products, sales force expansion, and increased educational efforts
Strong gross margin of 82.7%

Income tax rate decreased by 3.7 pps vs. PY to 30.3%

Strong cash generation resulted in a record cash balance of US$ 871.5 million, 60% growth vs. PY

Other achievements include the settlement of the TFN (Trochanteric Fixation Nail) case, and the launch of over 90 new products, including ProDisc®-C in the U.S.

Michel Orsinger, President and CEO of Synthes, comments on the performance: Our solid performance was achieved thanks to the entire organization's focus on new product launches, sales force expansion, and education. In today's challenging economic environment, our conscious management of resources allowed Synthes to deliver yet another record year with strong double-digit earnings growth and end the year with a strong debt-free balance sheet. We are excited about the opportunity to continue growing and strengthening Synthes' market position in 2009, while improving patient care worldwide.

For further information please contact

Gilgian Eisner, Investor Relations, Synthes, Inc.
Phone +41 32 720 4745, Fax +41 32 720 4811