Sartorius Stedim Biotech today said it fully achieved its financial targets during 2013, paced by strong sales growth for its bioprocess solutions division and its Asian operations, and expects its strong performance to continue into this year.
The company finished 2013 with a 7.1% year-to-year increase in its “underlying” earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), adjusted for extraordinary items, to €172.6 million ($236.1 million) on sales revenue that rose 7.7% in constant currency terms, to €887.3 million ($1.2 billion).
Bioprocess solutions, which accounts for more than half of Sartorius’ consolidated revenue, finished 2013 with a 15.6% surge in operating revenue to €119.3 million ($163.2 million) on sales that climbed 9.2% to €517.8 million ($708.3 million).
The bioprocess solutions division’s underlying EBITDA results offset year-over-year losses in its two other divisions. Lab products and services slipped 6.5% to €42.9 million, or $58.7 million, on sales that dipped 0.5% to €267.4 million ($365.8 million). And industrial weighing fell 13.3% to €10.4 million ($14.2 million) on sales that shrank 0.7%, to €102.0 million ($139.5 million).
The lab products division would have finished “around 2 percentage points” higher had it not been for the phase-out of a few nonstrategic product lines, Sartorius said, while a soft market environment in Asia “had a dampening effect on the division’s business, which picked up, however, as the year progressed.”
While the company did not furnish regional sales figures, Sartorius did say it enjoyed its strongest worldwide growth in Asia, where sales jumped 10.3%—an increase driven primarily by high demand for single-use products and equipment used in biopharmaceutical production. The company saw an 8.5% rise in European sales, which account for about half of total business activity, and even enjoyed a 2.6% gain in North America.
For 2014, Sartorius projected overall 8–10% sales growth in constant currencies and a 20% operating EBITDA margin (up from 19.5% in 2013). The company envisions bioprocessing solutions sales will continue growing by double digits (about 12–15%), as recent acquisitions are expected to contribute about 7 percentage points to the division's revenue growth.
The lab products and services and industrial weighing divisions are projected to generate operating earnings of 16.5% and 10.5%, respectively, though both divisions are expected to see their sales rise 1–4% this year.
“Based on its strong growth prospects, Sartorius is planning to invest around 8–10% of sales in expansion of capacity and in growth projects,” the company said in a statement.