Pall life sciences sales held back by lab sector

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Filtration and purification specialist Pall has reported a 12.5 per
cent hike in first-quarter sales to $374 million (€310m), with life
sciences putting in a strong showing, up 15.5 per cent to $152

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.

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