25.07.2012 06:45

Sartorius Raises Guidance Following Strong First Half


Sartorius (FWB:SRT), a leading international laboratory and pharmaceutical equipment provider, successfully closed the first six months of 2012, with substantial gains in order intake, sales revenue and earnings. The Bioprocess Solutions Division that primarily specializes in single-use products for pharmaceutical drug manufacture performed especially well. Furthermore, initial consolidation of the Biohit Liquid Handling business considerably boosted growth for the Laboratory Products & Services Division. Based on the company’s strong first-half results, management lifted its guidance for the full year of 2012. Accordingly, Sartorius now expects its sales to grow by about 11% in constant currencies (former guidance: +10%). In addition, provided that currency exchange rates remain favorable as in the first half, adjusted earnings (operating EBITA) are projected to increase by around 15% (former guidance: +10%).

Dynamic Growth of Sales Revenue and Order Intake
In the first half of 2012, Sartorius increased its sales revenue year over year by 19.3%, or 15.6% in constant currencies, to 422.1 million euros. The Biohit Liquid Handling business acquired at the end of 2011 added approximately six percentage points to this gain. In the same period, order intake rose 15.3%, or 11.7% in constant currencies, to 434.2 million euros.

All three Group divisions fueled this dynamic business performance. Accounting for more than half of consolidated revenue, the Bioprocess Solutions Division continued on the growth track of the past quarters: it posted solid organic sales growth of 237.4 million euros, up 21.2%, or 17.3% in constant currencies. Order intake for this division also rose significantly by 12.2%, or 8.5% in constant currencies, to 243.4 million euros. Demand was strong, especially for single-use products for the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals, such as specialty filters and aseptic bags and tanks.

The Lab Products & Services Division, which provides premium laboratory instruments and consumables, boosted its first-half sales revenue by 20.2%, or 16.1% in constant currencies, to 133.0 million euros, seeing an uptick in order intake of 29.0%, or 24.7% in constant currencies, to 139.7 million euros. Initial consolidation of the Biohit Liquid Handling business acquired at the end of 2011 contributed around 18 percentage points, based on constant currencies, to growth for this division. Sales revenue for the company’s smallest division, Industrial Weighing, improved, also when seen against the backdrop of a moderate year-earlier revenue base, by 9.5%, or 7.3% in constant currencies, to 51.8 million euros, while its order intake at 51.1 million euros was nearly at the previous year’s level of 51.4 million (currency-adjusted: -2.6%).

Regional analysis shows that North America posted the highest growth, up 30.2%. In Asia, business expanded by 14.9%; Europe saw gains of 10.8% (all regional figures in constant currencies).

Significant Increase in Earnings
Based on its dynamic sales performance, Sartorius further increased its first-half earnings year over year. The Group's operating earnings1) surged by around one-fourth (+24.6%) from 51.1 million euros to 63.6 million euros; the respective margin for the Group climbed from 14.4% to 15.1%. In the same period, the Bioprocess Solutions Division boosted its earnings 28.7% to 42.9 million euros; its margin rose from 17.0% to 18.1%. The Lab Division lifted its operating earnings by nearly 9% to 16.5 million euros from 15.2 million euros, with a margin of 12.4%, relative to 13.7% a year earlier. Following a comparatively moderate first half in 2011 (2.5 million euros), the Industrial Weighing Division achieved operating earnings of 4.2 million euros. Accordingly, its operating margin improved significantly from 5.4% to 8.1%.

Group EBITA rose year on year by 27.3% to 56.5 million euros, up from 44.4 million euros. This figure includes extraordinary items of -7.1 million euros (1st half 2011: -6.7 million euros), which were essentially related to integration of the Biohit Liquid Handling business, preparations for the transfer of single-use bag manufacture from the USA to Puerto Rico and to various cross-divisional projects. The corresponding EBITA margin was at 13.4%, compared with 12.5% a year ago. The Group’s relevant net profit2) soared 24.5% from 23.7 million euros a year earlier to 29.5 million euros. The Group’s respective earnings per share are at 1.73 euros, up from 1.39 euros in the previous year.

Full-year Guidance Raised
Based on the company’s strong business performance in the first half, management raised its sales and earnings guidance for the full year of 2012. Sartorius now anticipates that full-year sales revenue will grow by about 11% (former guidance: about 10%) in constant currencies. Around five percentage points of this gain are forecast to be generated by the initial consolidation of the Biohit Liquid Handling business. In addition, provided that currency exchange rates remain favorable as in the first half of 2012, management projects that operating EBITA will increase by around 15% (former guidance: around 10%).

In view of the three divisions, Sartorius anticipates that currency-adjusted sales revenue for Bioprocess Solutions will grow approximately 10% (former guidance: 6% to 8%). Operating EBITA is expected to increase by around 15% (former guidance: 6% to 8%) compared to the previous year.

For the Lab Products & Services Division, management's forecast has remained unchanged: sales revenue is projected to expand by approximately 16% to 20% in constant currencies, primarily due to initial consolidation of the Biohit Liquid Handling business. The division's operating EBITA is forecasted to increase in fiscal 2012 by around 20% to 24% (former guidance: 16% to 20%).

The growth and earnings forecast for the Industrial Weighing Division is confirmed: currency-adjusted sales revenue and operating EBITA are expected to show stable development relative to the previous year.

1) Sartorius uses earnings before interest, taxes and amortization, EBITA, as the key profitability measure. To enable a more informative comparison of the figures given for the previous years, the company additionally reports operating earnings adjusted for extraordinary items (= operating EBITA) besides EBITA.

2) Underlying net profit after non-controlling interest, excluding non-cash amortization and effects from valuation adjustments of derivative financial instruments.

Key Figures for the First Half of 2012

Current Image Files
Dr. Joachim Kreuzburg, CEO and Executive Board Chairman of Sartorius AG:

Sartorius products used in the manufacture of medications:

Sartorius products used in laboratory research:

Conference Call and Webcast

Dr. Joachim Kreuzburg, CEO and Executive Board Chairman of Sartorius, will discuss the 2012 first-half results with analysts and investors on July 25, 2012, at 3:30 p.m. Central European Time in a webcast teleconference. You may dial into the teleconference starting at 3:15 p.m. CET at the following numbers:

Germany: +49 (0)69 3807 89637
France: +33 (0)1 70 48 01 63
UK: +44(0)20 3106 7162
USA: +1646 254 3370

The dial-in code is as follows: 4528852; the webcast and presentation can be viewed at: www.sartorius.com

Upcoming Financial Dates:
October 29, 2012 Publication of nine-month figures (January to September 2012)
January 2013 Publication of the preliminary figures for fiscal 2012

This press release contains statements about the future development of the Sartorius Group. The content of these statements cannot be guaranteed as they are based on assumptions and estimates that harbor certain risks and uncertainties.

This is a translation of the original German-language press release. Sartorius shall not assume any liability for the correctness of this translation. The original German press release is the legally binding version. Furthermore, Sartorius reserves the right not to be responsible for the topicality, correctness, completeness or quality of the information provided. Liability claims regarding damage caused by the use of any information provided, including any kind of information which is incomplete or incorrect, will therefore be rejected.

A Profile of Sartorius
The Sartorius Group is a leading international laboratory and process technology provider covering the segments of Bioprocess Solutions, Lab Products & Services and Industrial Weighing. In 2011, the technology group earned sales revenue of 733.1 million euros. Founded in 1870, the Goettingen-based company currently employs more than 5,000 persons. The major areas of activity of its Bioprocess Solutions segment cover filtration, fluid management, fermentation, cell cultivation and purification, and focus on production processes in the biopharmaceutical industry. The Lab Products & Services segment primarily manufactures laboratory instruments and consumables. Industrial Weighing concentrates on weighing, monitoring and control applications in the manufacturing processes of the food, chemical and pharma sectors. Sartorius has its own production facilities in Europe, Asia and America as well as sales subsidiaries and local commercial agencies in more than 110 countries.

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