Fisher reports profit jump

By Emilie Reymond

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Thermo fisher scientific, Thermo electron

Fisher Scientific has reported a second-quarter pre-tax profit jump
of 31 per cent to $146.1m (€113.4m), reflecting the success of
recent acquisitions and operating initiatives.

The company also saw a sales increase of nine per cent to $1.47bn compared with $1.34bn in the corresponding period of 2005, with the bulk of this increase resulting from organic growth in the scientific-research and healthcare markets, the firm's core business focuses.

However, not every aspect of the business grew, with Fisher's safety-related products experiencing a dip in demand.

Segment-wise, second-quarter sales in the company's healthcare business increased nine per cent to $356.4m from $326.2m in the prior year, driven primarily by new product introductions, particularly rapid diagnostic tests and clinical chemistry offerings, said the firm.

In the scientific products and services segment, sales also rose by 9 per cent to $1.1bn, reflecting strong results across all core customer segments.

"Customer demand for our products and services drove top-line growth, while contributions from recent acquisitions as well as synergies from our merger with Apogent resulted in record operating income,"​ said Paul Montrone, chairman and chief executive officer of Fisher.

Despite the pre-tax profit jump, Fisher only managed an operating profit growth of 4 per cent to $175.1m and the company's profit margins remained flat. The company was not available to comment further on these results.

Last May, Fisher signed an agreement with Thermo Electron who paid $10.6bn to acquire the firm in a deal that extends Thermo's presence in the life, laboratory and health sciences industry.

The deal is set to generate $200m of cost and revenue-related business in three years with 2007 combined activities estimated to be at least $75m. Indeed, the merger continues a trend already seen in smaller previous acquisitions by both companies expanding their footprints over the past few years.

Under the terms of the agreement, the newly formed company, named Thermo Fisher Scientific will become the biggest player in a sector made up of smaller companies and analysts have speculated that this may make it a target for an acquisition by medical-equipment manufacturers such as General Electric or Siemens AG, which have a limited presence in laboratory equipment.

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