Invacare is laying off another 75 employees as it tries to hit its targets in the face of tariffs and reimbursement changes, according to an SEC filing last week.
The medical equipment manufacturer is making cuts in Europe and North America, adding to the steady flow of layoffs in both regions in recent years.
Invacare disclosed the cuts alongside details of appointments it hopes will help to grow sales in North America.
Invacare is on a multi-year losing streak. Over the past five years, the maker of wheelchairs and other medical equipment has suffered a string of losses.
With tariffs and reimbursement changes in the U.S. adding to Invacare’s difficulties in 2018, the maker of products used in non-acute settings committed to accelerating an overhaul of its business.
That means further cuts at a company that reduced its headcount by 2,000 employees from the end of 2012 to the end of 2018. At the last count, Invacare had approximately 4,200 employees but that figure could fall as the latest round of cuts hits.
In an attempt to save $6.4 million a year before tax, Invacare is laying off 75 workers in Europe and North America. A little more than half of the savings will come from the European layoffs. The cuts follow other layoffs in 2018 but fall short of the expectations of some observers.
“While we believe these announcements are positives for [Invacare] and are concrete steps that management is taking it its turnaround efforts, we would have preferred to see more substantial restructuring specifically in the [North American] lifestyles and respiratory businesses,” analysts at Needham wrote July 3 in a note to investors.
Invacare’s North American lifestyles and respiratory businesses dragged on its performance last year. The company attributed some of the difficulties to the unwillingness of U.S. providers to invest ahead of reimbursement changes issued by CMS late last year.
Those changes came into force at the start of 2019 but Invacare warned the problems could continue into the first quarter and beyond. North American sales of Invacare respiratory products fell 34.9% in the first quarter of 2019.
To support its turnaround strategy, Invacare promoted Joost Beltman to vice president of sales and marketing for North America, and rehired a former national accounts director and regional sales director, Keith Brantly, as director of sales for Complex Rehab Technologies.