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Biomet reports annual loss, record net sales

Biomet Inc. today reported preliminary fourth-quarter and fiscal 2013 financial results.

The Warsaw-based orthopedic devices maker reported a net loss of $382 million for the fiscal year ended May 31, a 17 percent improvement from the net loss of $459 million reported for the preceding 12 months.

Preliminary special items totaling $985 million drove the loss. Among the special items was a $347 million charge that reflects a lower value for the dental reconstructive reporting unit than previously recorded.

The company reported record net sales of more than $3 billion for the year, an increase of 8 percent from fiscal 2012.

Jeffrey Binder, president and CEO, said Biomet’s 2 percent growth in hip and knee replacement sales was in line with the market. But the company tries to outpace competitors’ growth, he said.

“We believe that our large joint reconstructive business provides us with a strong and stable base, and we disagree strongly with those who believe that there are few opportunities for innovation and differentiation,” Binder said in a statement. “We’re working hard to prove the naysayers wrong.”

Earlier this month, a financial newspaper reported that Biomet’s private equity owners might be looking to sell their stake in the manufacturer.

The Financial Times of London reported that the owners are considering taking the manufacturer public or selling it to another investment group. The publication said it relied on three unnamed sources for the information.

Barbara Goslee, Biomet spokeswoman, responded that the company doesn’t comment on speculation.

In 2007, a private-equity consortium paid $11.4 billion for Biomet, a transaction the new owners characterize as a merger.

The private-equity group includes affiliates of Blackstone Group, Goldman Sachs & Co., Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Texas Pacific Group, along with Dane Miller, a Biomet founder and former chief executive.

Biomet employs about 8,000 worldwide, including about 1,500 in Warsaw.