Millipore has reported buoyant sales growth in the second quarter of this year but was let down by a lacklustre showing from its biotechnology division, held up as one of the key drivers of future growth.
Overall sales rose 12 per cent to $196 million (€174m), although biotechnology sales, which account for more than a third of the group's total revenues, rose just 1 per cent. Gross profit rose 6 per cent to $107 million compared to the second quarter of 2002, while earnings per share were $0.46, level with the previous year.
Fran Lunger, Millipore's chief executive, said: "We achieved our earnings guidance for the second quarter while generating $35 million in cash from operations." The performance of the biotechnology division "was primarily a timing issue related to the scheduling of manufacturing campaigns and plant build-outs by our customers," he added.
Lunger said he expected the biotechnology business to put in a strong showing in the second half of the year, helped by the current market outlook for biopharmaceutical product approvals and launches.