Taken together, sales came in at £53m, up from Whatman's tally of £36m in the first half of 2004. But the combined amount represents a decline of 0.6 per cent, which Whatman attributed to 'the hiatus in leadership and the manufacturing issues that inevitably arise when a major restructuring is undertaken'.
Whatman is still on the lookout for a permanent CEO, after Tim Haines, who was due to take up the post on 1 September, pulled out of the running.
Operating profit rose by a third to just over £10m, helped by a rationalisation of the two businesses. Whatman announced that it would cut 13 per cent of its workforce in the wake of the S&S acquisition.
On an optimistic note, Whatman's chairman, Bob Thian, said: "synergies from the acquisition of S&S are coming through both well ahead of schedule and significantly higher than anticipated."
"The earnings accretion targets published at the time of the acquisition are expected to be exceeded," he added.
The acquisition with S&S was aimed at boosting Whatman's market share in the lab and medical separations sector. In LabSciences, Whatman's market share grew from 11 to 16 per cent as a result of the merger, ranking it third behind Millipore (35 per cent) and Pall (30 per cent). It also stretched its lead over fourth place Sartorius, which holds 5 per cent of the market. In the MedTech field Whatman still ranks fifth but the addition of S&S expanded its share from 4 to 6 per cent.
For LabSciences, the group's like for like sales were down 0.6 per cent compared to the first half of 2004, due in part to de-stocking by some major customers, while MedTech sales rose 2 per cent. The Bioscience division saw revenues fall more than 3 per cent, mainly because of weaker demand for Whatman's FTA product range, used for the isolation of DNA.