3Q Equipment/Consumables

Third quarter reported and organic revenues for IBO’s Lab Equipment/Consumables Sales Index grew 4.5% to $4,060 million. Operating profits rose at a similar pace, advancing 4.5% to $729 million. Based on continuing operations, operating margin expanded 10 basis points to 16.4% of sales.

Kewaunee Scientific’s fiscal second quarter 2015 sales ending October 31 climbed 15.9% to $30.3 million. International sales soared 64.2% to account for 22% of revenues, driven by Asia and the Middle East. Domestic sales improved 7.1% to account for 78% of revenues. Total backlog expanded 2.2% to $84.5 million. Gross margin rose 50 basis points to 19.2% of sales. Operating profit grew 65.1% to $1.9 million as a result of increased sales volume and currency.

For the fiscal first quarter 2015 ending October 31, revenue for Pall’s BioPharmaceuticals consumables grew 15.5%, 11.7% organically, to $226.6 million to account for 33% of total sales. Acquisitions contributed 6.7% to revenue growth, while currency headwinds reduced sales by 2.9%. Growth was driven by single-use processing products, timing of orders and an easy year-over-year comparison. Given the strong order rate and sales growth, the company expects fiscal 2015 BioPharmaceuticals sales to reach the high end of its previous outlook of mid-to high single-digit growth.

Third quarter reported and currency-neutral sales for Sartorius’s Lab Products & Services (LPS) segment grew 5.6% to €63.7 million ($85.0 million = €0.75 = $1) to account for 27% of company sales. All figures below exclude currency. Orders fell 1.3% to €60.4 million ($80.5 million). North American and Asia Pacific sales grew 41.0% and 1.1% to account for 20% and 26% of LPS sales, respectively. European sales were flat to make up 49%, while sales to Other Markets contracted 17.4% to comprise 4%. LPS adjusted EBITDA improved 6.9% to €10.4 million ($13.9 million). Unchanged from its previous outlook, LPS currency-neutral sales are projected to grow 1%–2%, with EBITDA margin at 15% of sales.

Third quarter reported and organic sales for Sigma-Aldrich’s Research business grew 1.8% to $347 million to account for 50% of company revenues. Organic Research sales improved in all segments and geographic markets. Sales from academic, government and hospital markets recorded the strongest growth, as US academic sales expanded for the first time since 2011. Demand from emerging markets was strong, including double-digit sales growth in China. Revenues for the Applied business climbed 10.4%, 9.7% excluding currency, to $170 million to make up 25% of revenues. Growth was driven by strong double-digit sales growth in the Diagnostics and Testing segment, as well as higher Industrial sales. Applied sales also improved across all geographic markets. While the company withheld financial guidance due to its pending acquisition by Merck KGaA (see IBO 9/30/14), it did project greater currency headwinds against fourth quarter sales and net income.

For the fiscal first quarter 2015 ending September 30, revenue for Bio-Techne’s Biotechnology segment climbed 11.3%, 1.4% organically, to $81.5 million to account for 75% of company sales. Acquisitions and currency contributed 9.6% and 0.2% to segment growth, respectively. Organic Biotechnology sales were led by strong demand in China and Japan, and nearly double-digit growth from US biopharmaceutical customers. However, this growth was partially offset by lower US academic revenues and weakness in Europe, particularly Germany. Total academic sales declined in the mid-single digits. Segment adjusted operating profit grew 2.5% to $42.0 million. Following the acquisition of ProteinSimple (see IBO 6/30/14), Bio-Techne created a new segment, Protein Platforms, which recorded sales of $12.9 million to account for 12% of revenues and operating income of $2.6 million. On a pro forma basis, ProteinSimple sales grew 33%. For fiscal 2015, Bio-Techne provided a roundabout forecast of 3%–5% organic sales growth.

Third quarter sales for Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Laboratory Products and Services (LPS) grew 2.1%, 3.6% organically, to $1,628.7 million to account for 39% of company revenues. Currency added 0.3% to revenue growth, while divested research sera and media products (see IBO 1/15/14) lowered sales growth by 1.8%. Organic growth was led by demand for laboratory equipment and consumables, as well as higher revenues from clinical trial–logistics services. Demand from US academic and government customers also improved. As a result of increased investments and product mix, segment adjusted operating income advanced only 0.5% to $246.6 million.

VWR third quarter sales grew 5.6%, 4.1% excluding acquisitions, to $1,114.4 million. Currency effects were negligible. Organic revenues were led by double-digit growth for private-label products and services, as well as demand from health care and biopharmaceutical customers. Geographically, European markets were strong, especially for consumables and equipment, and sales in the Americas advanced in the high single digits. Despite increased pricing and higher margins from private-label products, gross profit margin fell 40 basis points to 27.9% of sales due to product mix and less favorable pricing terms with Merck KGaA. Adjusted operating profits climbed 9.7% to $81.5 million.

Sales for VWR’s Americas segment improved 4.5%, 3.4% organically, to account for 57% of total revenues. Acquisitions added 1.6% to sales growth, while currency headwinds lowered sales growth by 0.5%. Segment sales were led by improved pricing and high-single-digit sales growth from biopharmaceutical markets. Sales to educational and health care markets each expanded in the low single digits. However, sales to government and industrial markets declined slightly. Segment consumables sales grew in the mid-single digits, and sales of capital goods increased in the low single digits. Sales for the EMEA-APAC segment advanced 7.2%, 5.0% organically, to represent 43% of revenues. Acquisitions and currency contributed 1.5% and 0.6% to sales growth, respectively. Biopharmaceutical and health care sales each grew in the low double digits, led by demand for private-label and chemical products. Industrial sales advanced in the high single digits, and government and educational sales grew in the low single digits. Segment consumables and capital goods sales each grew in the high single digits, and chemicals sales improved in the low single digits. The company projected 2014 sales of $4.32–$4.36 billion for growth of 3%–4%.

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