Medical sales were the start performer in the life sciences, up 21 per cent to $70 million, with biopharmaceuticals up 10.5 per cent to $82 million. The performance was enhanced by a weak dollar, and in local currency terms the increases were 16 per cent and 3.5 per cent, respectively.
Pall said that biopharmaceuticals was supported by a strong showing by the biotechnology sector, which seems to be enjoying something of a renaissance of late as funding opportunities return after more than two years of drought. However, the laboratory sector showed its weakness once again, suggesting that optimism over a speedy recovery in this sector may be premature.
The US company posted a net profit of $24.7 million, or 19 cents a share, reversing the situation in last year's first quarter when it incurred a loss after booking an acquisition-related charge. This was a little higher than analysts' consensus estimate of 18 cents a share.
Revenues at Pall's industrial business units (which include microelectronics, aerospace and general industrial) were up 11 per cent to $222 million (a rise of 2.5 per cent in local currencies).
Eric Krasnoff, Pall's chairman and CEO, noted that on a pro forma basis earnings grew by a third compared to last year's first quarter, while overall sales growth was 5 per cent versus 2 per cent. This "keeps us on plan and on track for the year," he commented.
Looking at sales by geography, Asia was the best performer, turning in sales growth of 15 per cent, while Europe and the Western Hemisphere grew 3.5 and 2 per cent, respectively.