At the annual press conference for the company in Goettingen, Germany, the Group reflected on a 'successful and intense 2007,' as it now aims to make significant gains in the integration process within Sartorius Stedim Biotech. Costs of the union were estimated to set Sartorius back around €5m-€10m over the course of 2007. However, the group revealed consolidated sales revenues of €622.7m, 3.3 per cent up from the comparable 2006 figure of €602.6m. Earnings achieved a new high too, registering at €71.1m, up from €67.2m a year earlier. Net profit calculated after minority interest and excluding non-cash amortization, was €30.4m. "Even after making the largest acquisition so far and despite the negative exchange rate impact, we achieved our sales revenue and profit targets adjusted in October 2007 and increased our operating profitability," said Kreuzburg. "In every respect, the group put the guiding principle of its current development phase, acceleration, into action in the reporting year," according to Kreuzburg. Sartorius has developed its global group structures during 2007 as the formation of Sartorius Stedim Biotech closely following the acquisition of Goettingen-based Toha Plast GmbH in January 2007. The thermoplastics firm again added to the company's portfolio of disposables for the biopharmaceutical industry. The group's financial performance region by region achieved the highest growth rates in Asia at a currency-adjusted 10.5 per cent. Growth in Europe was also acheived, attaining a currency-adjusted rate of 5.8 per cent. However, development in North America was more restrained increasing 2.3 per cent on the basis of constant currencies, which the group attributed to weaker second-half demand from a number of customers for the biotechnology division. Sartorius also posted gains in order intake as this figure grew from €602.4m in 2006 to €616.7m in 2007, up 2.4 per cent. 2007 also saw Sartorius increase its R&D activities, upping related expenses on a pro forma basis by 13.1 per cent to €43.2m (2006: €38.2m). The rise in R&D costs was attributed to staff recruitment in this area and the expansion of the company's R&D infrastructure. Sartorius recently completed and commissioned a new laboratory building for the biotechnology division in 2008, expanding R&D capacity by more than 50 per cent.