The company's share price rose by as much as 10%, leading gainers on Britain's blue-chip FTSE 100 index on Thursday after it exceeded 2019 results expectations and estimated sales growth this year of 3.5% to 4.5%.
Smith+Nephew, one of the main global players in orthopaedic implants and prosthetics as well as a raft of dressings and other complex technologies for surgeons, has seen newer markets including China emerge as growth drivers.
Chief Executive Roland Diggelmann, who took over in November, told Reuters that Chinese sales grew by about 30% in 2019 and now represent 7% of total sales.
China's coronavirus outbreak has not disrupted Smith+Nephew's operations in the country so far, Diggelmann said, but the company is monitoring the situation because the epidemic has affected the wider region.
"We're active mostly in elective surgery, and these elective surgeries are not the focus of healthcare authorities now. Rightfully, they're really focused on containing the outbreak," he said.
SHARES RALLY ON SALES NUMBERS
The virus has killed more than 2,000 people in China and infected some 75,000 people, confining millions to their homes, disrupting supply chains and delaying reopening of factories after the extended Lunar New Year holiday break.
Smith+Nephew said its 2020 outlook assumes the outbreak would cease to disrupt normal business activities early in the second quarter.
JP Morgan analysts said that though growth this year is likely to be loaded in the second half, the outbreak is likely to remain a short-term overhang.
Underlying sales growth in emerging markets was 16.1%, while the revenue posted by Smith+Nephew's sports medicine & ENT unit increased 7%.
Growing patient populations and improving medical expertise in newer markets are making up for slowing growth in mature markets for Smith+Nephew.
Chief Financial Officer Graham Baker told Reuters the 4.4% underlying growth in revenue in 2019 was the company's best since at least 2010.
Analysts were expecting 2019 sales of $5.12 billion and underlying growth of 4.1%, a company-compiled consensus showed. (https://bit.ly/2HFheza)
Smith+Nephew shares hit a record high of 2,023 pence by 0849 GMT, boosted by the better-than-expected sales figures.
By Pushkala Aripaka