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GN Store Nord's iPhone hearing aid boosts U.S. customer base

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danish hearing aids group GN Store Nord has seen a jump in its U.S. costumer base following the launch of a new product developed jointly with Apple for the iPhone, the company told analysts at an industry conference in Orlando.

GN Store Nord obtained at least 20 percent more new costumers in the United States in the first two weeks of March compared to same period in February, thanks to their launch of Resound Linx late February.

Resound Linx is a hearing aid packed with bluetooth-like technology that installed in the ear allows users to stream voice and music from their iPhones.

"The first data indicates that Resound Linx has been very well received in the U.S. Market," head of investor relations Michael Bjergby told Reuters on Friday, after the presentation which analysts from both Danske Bank and Nordea called 'very bullish'.

In 2013 GN Store Nord's hearing aid business, GN Resound, generated 46 percent of its revenue in the U.S. market, while 31 percent came from Europe and 23 percent from other markets.

"It is a clear signal to investors about a big demand in the market. There is potential for a surprise in connection with their open-ended guidance for 2014, "Sydbank analyst Morten Imsgard said.

This year GN Resound expects organic growth of more than 6 percent.

Still, some analysts remain skeptical about the demand in the company's over 65 target base.

"It is still early days and we believe the market has changed and it has become more difficult to significantly move market share in a short period of time with a new product," Nordea wrote in a note to clients.

Danish competitor William Demant has also joined the "Made for iPhone programme".

Shares in GN store Nord rose 2.2 percent at 1032 GMT outperforming a 1.2 increase in the Copenhagen stock exchange's benchmark index. ($1 = 5.4340 Danish Crowns).

(Reporting by Stine Jacobsen)

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