He added, “Despite the difficult conditions, we were able to increase revenue by 5 percent,” from $1.63 billion in 2012 to $1.72 billion in 2013. The operating cash flow rose slightly to $263 million from $262 million in 2012.
In addition to integrating 2012 acquisitions Völker and Aspen Surgical, the president observed, “We were able to deliver on our most important financial strategic priorities: investing for growth and providing meaningful returns to shareholders.”
According to the company’s 2013 annual review (Hill-Rom.com/2013AnnualReview), “Research is the future of Hill-Rom and in 2013 we continued to invest significantly in it.” About $70.2 million was spent on research and development last year, a 4.9 percent increase over 2012.
The report stated, “We brought four major new products to the market and launched 13 additional products or product enhancements. In addition, we made significant progress on numerous other development programs. These new and emerging products deliver meaningful benefits for our patients and their caregivers, characterized not only by new features but, more importantly, by providing solutions to critical problems, such as:
• Preventing patients in the intensive care unit from sliding down the bed as the head is raised, a seemingly simple, yet serious problem.
• Delivering a spine table that eliminates a “fatal flaw” of the other tables on the market, enhancing patient and staff safety while offering a better footprint at a better price point.
• Designing one device that can deliver three airway clearance therapies.
• Helping caregivers throughout the hospital remember to clean their hands and providing automatic data collection for administrators who must report compliance rates.
“There are insights you can only have by watching,” said Brian Lawrence, senior vice president and chief technology officer, in the report. “When you observe an operating room team complete a procedure or follow a nursing staff over the course of the shift, you can see all the things they do and the problems, big and small, that they face while doing them. Armed with that knowledge, we develop products that improve care and simplify the job of caring.”