Amplifon, worldwide leader in the distribution and fitting of personalized hearing solutions, consolidates its position in India and strengthens its presence in Germany and France. The Group has, in fact, announced that an agreement has been reached with the American company Starkey Hearing Technologies – one of the largest manufacturers of hearing aids worldwide – for the takeover of the operation of 12 ENT service centers in India, found inside doctors’ offices and hospital-based clinics and located in the country’s main cities. Present in the Indian market since 2010, the Amplifon Group is now expanding its network to include 120 stores and services centers. The agreement includes also the possibility of being extended to include an additional 40 hospital clinics over a period of approximately 12 months.
Based on the agreement, which will leverage on Amplifon’s wealth of medical expertise and service experience, Starkey Hearing Technologies will provide a large part of the hearing devices as well as the technical assistance for the equipment used in the service centers taken over, at its own expense.
The partnership with Starkey Hearing Technologies will allow the Amplifon Group to further increase the reach of its network in a geographical region with great potential for future development. India is, in fact, the third largest economy in the world with a rapidly expanding hearing solutions market where the current penetration rate is slightly above 1%. In 2013 approximately 500,000 hearing aids were sold, an estimated increase of 15% with respect to the prior year.
“We are pleased to align our efforts with Amplifon in the promising Indian market,” commented Jerry Ruzicka, President of Starkey Hearing Technologies. “Working with a visionary group such as Amplifon will create new opportunities and synergies for serving this market.”
Amplifon has also announced the acquisition of 11 stores in Germany (found in North Rhineland and Westphalia) and 6 in France (in the western part of the country and in Provence) during the month of October. More in detail, the stores purchased in Germany will be added to the 7 acquired since the beginning of the year, bringing the German distribution network to a total of 200 points of sale. In France the 6 centers will be summed together with the 10 shops acquired and the 7 openings made from the beginning of the year, resulting in a French network comprised of 332 stores and 70 SIS (shop-in-shop).
The Group is continuing to move forward with its international expansion strategy which, both through new openings and acquisitions, made it possible to add more than 200 stores to its network since the beginning of the year. Over the last few months the Company has, in fact, announced the entry into the Israeli market – following the acquisition of 60% of the local leader Medtechnica Orthophone Ltd. – and the purchase of the Italian sales network (55 stores) of Audika. The network expansion also involved the Iberian Peninsula (5 openings in Spain and 7 in Portugal), Poland (10 openings), Hungary (2 openings and 4 acquisitions), Turkey (1 new opening and 2 acquisitions), Egypt (1 new opening), Canada (4 new openings), Australia (5 new openings) and India (6 openings).
“With these transactions, we have given an important boost to the consolidation of our position as market leader in India and, at the same time, strengthened our presence in Germany and France”, Franco Moscetti, the Amplifon Group’s Chief Executive Officer commented. “The Amplifon Group”, added Moscetti, “confirms therefore its ambition to consolidate and develop its leadership worldwide, continuing along our internationalization and growth path with determination also through acquisitions”.