Strong Q4 Equipment/Consumables Index Sales Growth

Fourth quarter 2014 IBO Lab Equipment/Consumables Sales Index revenues grew 4.6%, 6.3% excluding currency, to $4,679 million. Growth was driven by strong results for Thermo Fisher Scientific Laboratory Products and Services (LPS). Index adjusted operating profit improved only 0.3% to $811 million. Operating margin declined 70 basis points to 15.7% of sales due to divestments, currency and product mix.

Full-year 2014 Index sales grew 3.6%, 4.3% excluding currency, to $17,370 million. Adjusted operating profit grew 4.0% to $3,073 million. Based on continuing operations, operating margin declined 10 basis points to 16.4% of sales.

For the fiscal second quarter, revenue for Bio-Techne’s Biotechnology segment climbed 10.5%, 4.5% organically, to $78.0 million to account for 70% of sales. Acquisitions added 8.1% to segment growth, partially offset by currency headwinds of 2.1%. Demand was strong in China as well as from US biopharmaceutical customers, and academic and government markets in Europe. US academic and government sales improved at a slower rate, while pharmaceutical and biotechnology sales declined in Europe. Segment adjusted operating margin fell 370 basis points to 50.3% as a result of increased infrastructure investments and the acquisitions. Fiscal second quarter sales for the Protein Platforms segment, which includes the acquired ProteinSimple (see IBO 6/30/14) product lines and CyVek (see IBO 11/15/14), amounted to $20.3 million to account for 18% of revenues. On a pro forma basis, Protein Platforms sales grew 33%, led by demand for Simple Western and Biologics products. Segment adjusted operating margin was 17.6%.

Kewaunee Scientific revenues for the fiscal third quarter grew 6.7% to $27.8 million (see page 12). International sales jumped 73.0% to make up 28% of revenues due to several large backlog orders and a weak year-over-year comparison. Sales and orders in Latin America improved as a result of an expanded direct sales force. Domestic sales fell 7.1% to make up 78% of revenues as demand for educational lab projects lagged. Gross profit margin declined 205 basis points to 16.1% of revenues as a result of weak domestic sales, competitive pricing and product mix. Operating income fell 37.7% to $0.6 million. Fiscal fourth quarter sales are projected to be flat.

For the fiscal second quarter ending January 31, revenue for Pall BioPharmaceuticals consumables grew 5.9%, 7.5% organically, to $231.4 million to account for 34% of total sales. The acquisition of ATMI LifeSciences contributed 5.8% to revenue growth. Currency headwinds reduced sales by 7.4%. Sales and orders were strong for single-use processing products. The company maintained its fiscal 2015 currency-neutral high-single-digit sales outlook for Life Sciences.

Fourth quarter 2014 sales for Sartorius Lab Products & Services (LPS) grew 6.9%, 5.4% excluding currency, to €79.8 million ($99.8 million = €0.80 = $1) to account for 45% of revenues. LPS adjusted EBITDA improved 15.9% to €12.7 million ($15.9 million). Full-year 2014 LPS sales grew 0.6%, 1.4% excluding currency, to €275.5 million ($367.4 million = €0.75 = $1) to account for 31% of revenues. Discontinued products lowered sales growth by roughly 1.6%. Excluding the phased-out products and currency, sales climbed roughly 3.0%. Lab instruments, and consumables and service revenues made up roughly 60% and 40% of LPS sales, respectively. Sales in North America and Asia Pacific climbed 13.3% and 1.4% excluding currency to account for 16% and 27% of LPS sales, respectively. Currency-neutral sales in Europe and Other Markets declined 1.2% and 5.2% to make up 53% and 4%, respectively. LPS adjusted EBITDA declined 5.1% to $41.2 million ($54.9 million). Currency-neutral 2015 LPS sales are projected to grow 2%–5%.

Fourth quarter 2014 Sigma-Aldrich Research sales declined 1.7% to $341 million to account for 48% of revenues. Excluding currency headwinds of 5.3%, segment organic sales grew 3.6%, led by double-digit growth in China and India as well as higher US academic spending. Sales for Academic, Pharma and Dealers all grew organically. Revenue for the Applied business improved 7.1%, 8.3% organically, to $167 million to make up 24% of revenues. Acquisitions added 3.2% to segment revenue growth, while currency lowered growth by 4.5%. Applied sales were driven by double-digit growth for the Diagnostic and Testing segment.

Full-year 2014 Sigma-Aldrich Research sales grew 0.1%, 1.4% organically, to $1.40 billion to account for 50% of revenues. Currency and divested products reduced Research sales growth by 1.1% and 0.1%, respectively. Growth was particularly strong for the dealer-network business. Applied sales climbed 8.1%, 7.8% organically, to $680 million to make up 24% of revenues. Acquisitions contributed 0.8% to segment sales growth, and currency lowered growth by 0.5%.

For the fourth quarter 2014, Thermo LPS sales grew 1.8%, 7.7% organically, to $1.68 billion to account for 38% of company revenues. Currency and divestments lowered LPS sales growth by 2.4% and 3.5%, respectively. Sales for the Research and Safety Channel business were particularly strong, led by US academic and government demand, and increased year-end spending by biopharmaceutical and industrial customers. Despite productivity improvements and favorable pricing, LPS adjusted operating margin declined 40 basis points to 14.5% of sales due to divestments and product mix.

Full-year 2014 Thermo LPS revenue grew 3.2%, 4.9% organically, to $6.60 billion to represent 39% of sales. Currency and divestments reduced segment sales growth by 0.3% and 1.5%, respectively. Growth was driven by demand for lab products and, to a lesser degree, higher revenue from clinical trial–logistics services. LPS adjusted operating margin slipped 10 basis points to 14.9% of sales. Full-year 2015 company sales are expected to be flat but grow 4% organically.

VWR fourth quarter 2014 revenues grew at a better-than-expected rate, climbing 4.0%, 5.9% organically, to $1.10 billion. Currency reduced revenue growth by 4.3% but was partially offset by 2.4% contributions to growth from acquisitions. Private label products and research-support services each recorded double-digit sales growth. Demand from biopharmaceutical and health care customers was strong. Gross profit margin slipped 74 basis points to 28.1% of sales due to currency and less favorable pricing terms with Merck KGaA. Adjusted operating profits fell 0.6% to $107.5 million.

Quarterly sales for VWR’s Americas segment grew 8.9%, 7.2% organically, to account for 56% of revenues. Acquisitions added 2.6% to sales growth. Currency lowered sales growth by 0.9%. Biopharmaceutical sales grew in the low double digits organically to account for roughly 50% of segment revenue. Health care revenues grew in the mid-single digits as strong consumables demand was partially offset by lower equipment sales. Government revenue improved in the low single digits, and educational sales were flat. Industrial sales contracted in the low single digits due to lower demand from a large microelectronic customer. By product, chemical sales grew in double digits. Consumables, and equipment and instrument sales each grew in the mid-single digits.

Fourth quarter 2014 sales for VWR’s EMEA-APAC segment declined 1.5% to $490.2 million to represent 44% of revenues. Excluding acquisition growth of 2.1% and currency headwinds of 8.0%, organic segment sales advanced 4.4%. Health care and government sales grew in the low double digits and mid-single digits, respectively, driven by private label demand. Government sales also benefited from higher lab equipment sales. Industrial sales rose in the high single digits, biopharmaceutical sales grew in the mid-single digits and education sales were flat. Consumables sales grew in the low double digits, led by strong service revenue from biopharmaceutical customers. Equipment and instrument sales, which benefited from increased budget spending in Europe, grew in mid-single digits. Despite strong demand from food and beverage customers, chemical sales were flat.

Full-year 2014 VWR sales grew 4.5%, 3.1% organically, to $4.38 billion. Acquisitions contributed 1.8% to sales growth, while currency lowered sales growth by 0.4%. Organic growth was driven by demand for private label products, which accounted for roughly 19% of revenues. Overall, consumables accounted for 72% of sales, including 27% of chemical sales. Instruments and equipment revenue accounted for 18%. Value-added services revenue was strong to account for 3% of sales. Biopharmaceutical, industrial, education, health care and government sales accounted for 38%, 24%, 15%, 7% and 5% of revenues, respectively. Other markets made up the remaining 11%. Gross profit margin declined 15 basis points to 28.4% of sales. Adjusted operating profits improved 10.5% to $418.1 million due to completed restructuring measures. For 2015, sales are projected to decline 2%–3% to $4.24–$4.31 billion but grow 3%–4% organically. Currency headwinds are expected to be 7%, and acquisitions are anticipated to add roughly 1.6%.

Full-year 2014 sales for the VWR’s Americas segment grew 3.3%, 2.1% organically, to account for 56% of total revenues. Acquisitions added 2.0% to sales growth, partially offset by currency headwinds of 0.8%. Combined biopharmaceutical and industrial sales grew in the low-to-mid-single digits. Educational and governmental sales contracted in the low-to-mid-single digits. By product, consumables sales grew in the low-to-mid-single digits, while instrument and equipment sales were flat. US sales grew 5.3% to make up 90% of the Americas segment. Full-year EMEA-APAC sales grew 6.0%, 4.5% organically, to make up 44% of revenues. Acquisitions added 1.5% to sales growth, while currency was neutral. Sales grew in the mid-to-high single digits across all product groups and customer segments. Private label consumables, instruments and equipment sales grew in the low double digits, and private label chemicals grew in the high single digits.

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