Amersham meets modest targets in Q1
sales of £381 million (€544m), flat on the same period of 2002 but
up 6 per cent if unfavourable currency impacts and discontinued
product sales were excluded. The results were in line with the
expectations of the company and analysts.
UK life sciences group Amersham has reported first-quarter 2003 sales of £381 million (€544m), flat on the same period of 2002 but up 6 per cent if unfavourable currency impacts and discontinued product sales were excluded. The results were in line with the expectations of the company and analysts.
For the first time, Amersham separated out the results of its Amersham Biosciences division into Separations and Discovery Systems. Sales for protein separations were up 7 per cent to £62 million, driven by growth in sales of bioprocess systems and media used in the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals.
"In line with previous guidance, sales growth is again expected to be stronger in the second half of the year reflecting customer buying patterns," said the firm. In laboratory separations, it added, the market has responded well to the recent addition of AKTA pilot to the AKTA range, for the production of clinical grade proteins on the benchtop.
Sales in discovery systems rose 2 per cent, excluding discontinued product sales of £7 million, to £95 million, with growth in proteomics and bioassays compensating for the anticipated decline in genomics tools. The first phase of restructuring the discovery systems business area to deliver profitability during 2004 is "on track," according to Amersham.
The Amersham Health business, which encompasses the firm's ethical pharmaceuticals business, saw sales rise 7 per cent to £224 million, helped by a 12 per cent hike in medical diagnostics products (and 22 per cent in local currencies).
Commenting on the figures, Sir William Castell, Amersham's chief executive, acknowledged the difficult environment but said: "our underlying rate of growth continued to show good momentum. We are progressing well with the restructuring of discovery systems to ensure the business delivers both innovation and profit."
This positive view looking ahead was echoed by analysts at Merrill Lynch, who believe that Amersham's trading statement shows that fundamentals are sound,with good underlying top line growth in Health and Separations.
As an example of Amersham's key role in the global life sciences industry, Sir William noted that its automated DNA analysis system, MegaBACE, and reagents were used by researchers in China to identify the coronavirus behind the current epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).