Packaging drives West in Q1

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Revenue

Demand for high-tech packaging, H1N1 vaccine products and drug delivery technologies drove growth in Q1 says West Pharmaceutical Services.

Operating profit for the three months ended March 31 reached $29.5m (€22.4m), up 25.7 per cent on the comparable period in 2009, while net sales advanced 13.4 per cent to $274.7m.

West’s packaging unit made the largest contribution, with sales and operating profit climbing 13 and 38 per cent respectively to $198.9m and $39.8m as a result of gains in US, Asia and South America.

On a technology specific basis, West said that products incorporating its Westar and Envision platforms as well as its FluroTec and Teflon coating systems contributed the largest share of the revenue growth at $13.7m.

It went on to explain that pharmaceutical industry demand for insulin products, IV components and vaccines, including a $2.8m contribution from H1N1-related technologies, were the key drivers.

Drug delivery systems, West’s other core business area, also saw gains in the quarter, although this was largely due to the contribution of safety syringe business it bought from Plastef Investissements’ in July 2009​.

Excluding this revenue, West said the remaining increase came from higher demand for contract manufacturing services following connected to improved performance of some customers’ OTC products.

West also said that one customer’s launch of a new auto-injector based drug had increased demand for its contract manufacturing business, partially offsetting the reduction caused by another’s withdrawal of an OTC product.

For the full year West said it expects that revenue from packaging and delivery systems will grow 34 and 21 per cent respectively, explaining that sales are likely to be weaker in the second half of the year.

Company CEO said that: “Unlike 2009, we expect that our 2010 results will return to our historic seasonality, with the first six months showing stronger sales and earnings versus the second half of the year​.”

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