Sigma-Aldrich set to break $2bn yearly sales barrier

By Dr Matt Wilkinson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cent

Sigma-Aldrich continued its strong year with both revenues and
pre-tax profits showing strong double-digit growth in the third
quarter predicting it will break the $2bn (€1.4bn) revenue mark
this year.

The life science supplier's revenues increased 14 per cent compared with last year's third quarter to $503.2m - nearly matching its record high of $507.5m achieved in the second quarter of the year. Pre-tax profits increased by a staggering 18 per cent to $106.8m compared with $90.1m for the same period last year. Costs of products, selling and administrative expenses both rose at around 13 per cent, while R&D rose 13.6 per cent to $15m - almost 2 per cent of revenues. "We are very pleased that improved growth this quarter produced quarterly sales in excess of $500m for the second successive quarter. The key initiatives supporting our customer centric sales focus enabled us to deliver organic sales growth at our targeted 7 per cent level and add another 3 per cent from acquisitions,"​ said Sigma-Aldrich's CEO Jai Nagarkatti. The company's SAFC (Sigma Aldrich Fine Chemicals) unit saw sales grow by nearly 20 per cent to $149.0m compared with $124.4m in Q3 2006. While the unit's results benefited from the company's acquisition of Epichem in February and Molecular Medicine BioServices in May, it still achieved organic growth of 6.1 per cent. The unit saw weakened demand for industrial cell culture products but demand for custom pharmaceutical products remained strong. The Research Specialties unit saw 13.6 per cent growth to reach quarterly sales of $186.6m with the company claiming 8.8 per cent could be attributed to organic growth. The company's Research Biotech division saw 11.2 per cent growth during the third quarter to reach $72.7m. The company attributed improved sales growth by the unit to the addition of more sales staff and stronger spending by academic customers, with sales of molecular biology products being particularly strong. Research Essentials, the company's traditional catalogue business saw 8.6 per cent growth to $94.9m, with organic growth attributing 4.4 per cent of this. The company highlighted that sales to its US pharmaceutical customers remained strong with US academic accounts continuing the improvement seen during the second quarter of the year. In addition, sales growth to the Canadian, Asia Pacific and Latin American markets increased by 21.1 per cent compared with Q3 2006 with its 'primary focus markets' in Brazil, China and India remaining robust. "With more than $1.5bn in sales year to date, we are within reach of crossing the $2bn mark in annual sales for the first time in our Company's history in 2007,"​ said Nagarkatti.

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