Updated: Jun 17, 2022
Q1 2022 Update: Global Clear Aligner Category
Q1 2022 Align Technology (ALGN) results have been highly disappointing – seriously undermining the company’s growth outlook for the current FY. While the company’s management committee is quick to blame the wider economic conditions for the decline in market demand, insightsZ is taking a 360-degree view of the status quo and concludes that there are other factors at play here, including:
Almost all clear aligner challenger brands demonstrated outstanding growth QoQ, especially insightsZ superbrands. You can find more about insightsZ superbrands in one of our recent articles here.
Evolution of new business models from companies like uLab Systems, Impress as well as the rise of White Label aligner brands have further complicated the matter. HK-based CareCapital Holdings is definitely looking well balanced with its recent portfolio of investments in the clear aligner category space.
We find it hard to believe that the economic conditions – including the high global inflationary pressures and geo-political situation in EU – are alone responsible for the disappointing ALGN QoQ growth-rate in the clear aligner segment, especially knowing that its CAD/CAM segment (brands iTero and exocad) has posted strong growth versus Q1 2021 [Q4 has traditionally been the strongest performer esp. for equipment sales due to cyclical purchase behavior].
As next steps, we are trying to understand whether the waning market demand for clear aligners is a temporary short-term situation or does it really represent a painful reality wherein Invisalign’s market share is being eaten away by a combination of challenger aligner brands and new disruptive business models. Especially in the latter scenario, we look more closely at CareCapital Holdings portfolio investments – quintessentially to learn from other companies who are trying hard to beat Invisalign brand in its own game.