‘There is hope on the other side’: ResMed boss says Australia must keep fighting for vaccines

ResMed boss Mick Farrell says the Australian government must keep fighting to procure COVID-19 vaccines and promote them to citizens, arguing his home city of San Diego has shown a strong vaccine rollout is the path to COVID-normal.

Mr Farrell, who oversees operations in more than 140 countries as head of the sleep treatments maker, says his staff in Sydney and Singapore have been keen to see more doses flowing.

ResMed chief executive Mick Farrell said the company was facing a “perfect storm” of global events, first with increased ventilator demand due to COVID and now with a global recall from a major competitor. Credit:

“If there’s a plea they would have, it’s ‘please more vaccines, vaccines, vaccines.’ It’s the supply limitation that gets you,” he said.

Mr Farrell lives and works from San Diego, where the full coronavirus vaccination rate hit 72 per cent of citizens aged over 12 this week. He is working from the ResMed head office and says the community is open and showing what mass vaccination can achieve.

“I would just say hey, there is hope on the other side to get to herd immunity.

“I hope the [Australian] government continues to procure vaccinations and then make sure they market those as free and available,” he said.

ResMed shares opened 3 per cent lower on Friday morning to $36.05 despite the company revealing full year revenues up 8 per cent to $US3.2 billion ($4.3 billion), while operating profit was up 12 per cent to $US993.8 million.

The company is set to receive significant revenue benefits due to a global recall of sleep treatment products from competitor Philips.

The Philips recall, which also affects customers in Australia, relates to defective insulation foam in the devices which could be inhaled by users of its sleep apnoea products.

Mr Farrell said the situation is forecast to add an additional $US300 to $US350 million in revenues to ResMed over the next 12 months as the company picks up demand from customers who had been stranded by the Philips recall.

“We saw [the recall news] when the [Philips] release came out. We immediately knew demand was going to skyrocket.”

Just under one year ago, ResMed all eyes were focused on the global bounceback in demand for ResMed sleep products after coronavirus shut down healthcare sites and slowed new patient intakes.

Now, the business is facing unprecedented demand for stock but Mr Farrell says supply constraints on key parts like semiconductors mean ResMed will be hit by supply constraints.

He has spent the past seven weeks making direct pleas to companies across the supply chain, arguing that ResMed should be given priority for access to key components that are in intense demand.

“It’s almost like a never ending game,” he said.

“But I’m always glass half full. There is $US350 million in revenue there that we didn’t know about.”

The company declared a quarterly dividend of 42 US cents per share, up 8 per cent on the previous period, payable on September 23.

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