Applera Corp, Applied Biosystems parent company, earned $71.6 million (€59 million), or 35 cents per share, up from last years figure of $51.1 million. Revenue grew 4 per cent to $478.5 million from $460.5 million, including a 1 per cent increase from favourable exchange rates.
The company has exceeded analysts expectations as the maker of research equipment for life sciences firms revealed its Real-Time PCR/Applied Genomics unit posted a 16 per cent sales increase to $140 million.
The company's core DNA sequencing business saw sales grow 2 per cent to $143 million. However, sales of mass spectrometry products declined 1 per cent to $119 million.
Applied Biosystems attributed the drop in mass spectrometry sales to a "challenging pharmaceutical capital spending environment," along with new products that customers needed time to evaluate.
Revenues for major geographic regions and their change relative to the prior year quarter were: $201 million in the United States, a 5 per cent decline; $171 million in Europe, a 14 per cent increase, including favourable foreign currency effects of approximately 2 per cent; and $86 million in Asia Pacific, a 9 per cent increase, including favourable foreign currency effects of approximately 1 per cent.
Celera Diagnostics, Applied Biosystem's joint venture with affiliated company Celera Genomics, posted a revenue decline to $9.4 million from $9.7 million. The company attributed this to a decrease in equalisation payments.
For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005, end-user sales for all products sold through the alliance with Abbott Laboratories increased 49 per cent to $18.2 million from $12.2 million in the same quarter last year.
This increase was primarily due to increased sales of HCV genotyping, HCV viral load, and Cystic Fibrosis analyte specific reagents (ASRs) manufactured by Celera Diagnostics.
For fiscal 2006, Applied Biosystems said it expected sales to grow by a percentage in the low single digits and adjusted earnings to increase at a slightly higher rate than sales.
The company's revenue forecast excludes the impact of foreign currency exchange, which it said would reduce growth by about 1 per cent.
Applied Biosystems have had a busy year so far with the news in May that the Group had entered a deal to expanded its PCR (polymerase chain reaction) licensing program. The program included patents, which covers real-time PCR and the settlement of litigation and arbitration with Hoffmann-La Roche.
Subsequently, in June, the Group and Invitrogen Corporation announced a strategic co-marketing and re-selling alliance to deliver solutions for proteomic analyses and biomarker studies in drug discovery and disease research worldwide.