Hidden Hearing plans to hire 150 staff for Irish expansion

Danish-owned healthcare group to expand services such as mobile ear-wax removal clinics

Hidden Hearing, one the country’s main providers of hearing aids and related healthcare services, plans to hire up to 150 new staff over the next five years as part of an expansion that could see it open 20 new standalone clinics.

The company, whose parent is Danish hearing aids group Demant, currently operates from 83 locations here, including 35 standalone outlets. The rest of its units are co-located with other businesses, such as within doctors' surgeries. It employs about 160 people in Ireland, including audiologists and support staff.

Stephen Leddy, the managing director of Hidden Hearing Ireland, said it has plans to open "between five and eight" new clinics over the next few years. When asked how many Hidden Hearing clinics he thinks the Irish market eventually could bear, he said "the magic number is in the mid 50s".

He said the company’s sales grew last year to €30 million, an increase of about 2 per cent, while the business remained profitable.


Hidden Hearing was also investing €10 million, Mr Leddy said, on a rebranding, various marketing campaigns and a reorganisation of the business. He said its expansion was funded by its parent company.

“We see our results for 2020 as a huge success considering we had virtually no revenue for three months,” he said in a reference to the impact of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions on the company.

The business’s core market is mainly older people who were all mostly cocooning between March and June last year due to public health advice to combat coronavirus.

“We kept our brand alive and we continued to recruit. Our target market is the over 60s, and in a few years that will be close to 1.5 million people. About one in three of those people will suffer a degree of hearing loss. The market here is fragmented and immature, and we are gearing up for growth.”

Ancillary services

Mr Leddy said Hidden Hearing planned to “beef up” its digital operations here. It also planned to invest further in ancillary services in the Irish market, such as ear-wax removal.

“We currently have staff who travel the whole country doing wax clinics, but they are absolutely chock-a-bloc at the moment. It turns out that people on the west coast must have waxier ears than people in the east because the clinics in the west are much busier for the wax-removal service.”

Mr Leddy said the business would target urban locations for its new clinics. “I’m looking for locations in north Dublin and also in Galway. We’re already there in Eyre Square, but I want something in the suburbs. We would also like to open a new clinic in Limerick’s suburbs.”

The business was founded here in 1987, and was bought by Demant two decades ago. The publicly-listed Danish parent group also owns European hearing healthcare group Audika. Hidden Hearing's new rebrand will align itself closely with Audika, but the Irish group will retain its own brand name.

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times