Endpoint: Instrument Index

The IBO Laboratory Sales Index has been updated from the February 15 issue now that 19 of the 21 companies in the Index have reported calendar-year 2008 results. Estimates are provided for Oxford Instruments and Shimadzu. For the fourth quarter, Laboratory Sales Index revenues improved 1.1% to $4,715 million. Operating profits grew 2.4%, and operating margins gained 80 basis points to 18.9% of sales. For the year, revenues grew 9.7% to $18,419 million, and operating profit rose 15.9% to $3,276 million. Operating margins gained 140 basis points to 17.8% of sales.

Bruker’s fourth-quarter revenues fell 8.6%, 3.0% on a currency-neutral basis, to $315.2 million. Product, Service and Other revenues declined 8.7%, 8.5% and 7.1% to make up 89%, 11% and 1% of sales, respectively. Adjusted operating income fell 30.2% to $51.2 million due to lower revenues and increased operating costs as a percentage of sales. Gross profit margin declined 70 basis points to 48.6% of sales.

In 2008, Bruker’s revenues grew 7.2%, 3.4% on a currency-neutral basis, to $1,107.1 million, led by system revenue, which accounted for 77% of sales. Product revenue climbed 6.8% to $974.9 million, while Service and Other revenues climbed 10.0% and 39.5% to account for 12% and 1% of sales, respectively. Revenues were negatively impacted by lower accessory sales. Together, academia, medical schools and other nonprofit organizations accounted for 57% of sales. Combined, the health care, biotech, pharmaceutical and diagnostic markets made up 12% of revenues. Government and industrial research each represented 11% of sales, while industrial quality control and applied markets accounted for 7% and 3%, respectively. North American sales declined 3.4% to make up 24% of revenues, while sales in Europe, Asia and Other regions increased 10.4%, 6.1% and 79.7% to account for 62%, 11% and 2% of sales, respectively. Bioscience sales grew 14.1%, 12.1% on a currency-neutral basis, to $633.2 million due to demand for X-ray, MS and CBRN detection systems. Revenue for BioSpin improved 0.9% to $528.0 million, but declined 4.2% on a currency-neutral basis. Total adjusted operating income fell 19.6% to $116.7 million due to higher operating expenses, particularly for R&D. Gross margins declined 46 basis points to 45.6% of sales due to product mix and pricing competition. For 2009, Bruker anticipates low single-digit decline to flat revenue growth, including a 6% decline from currency effects.

Fourth-quarter sales for Harvard Bioscience declined 6.0% to $23.0 million, including a 12.2% decline from currency transactions. On a currency-neutral basis, sales for the Harvard Apparatus and Biochrom grew 4% and 10%, respectively. Adjusted operating income climbed 25.3% to $4.0 million, while gross profit margins improved 330 basis points to 50.4% of sales due to improved manufacturing efficiency and increased pricing.

Full-year Harvard Bioscience revenues grew 5.6% to $88.0 million, including 8% growth from acquisitions and a 3.6% decline from currency transactions. Harvard Apparatus sales declined less than 1% on a currency-neutral basis, but recorded strong domestic growth from the catalog business. Biochrom revenue improved 3% due to strong sales of plate readers and microliter spectrophotometers. Demand for Panlab behavioral products was strong across all geographical markets. UK and Rest of the World sales improved 4.6% and 20.5% to account for 35% and 25% of sales, respectively, while US sales declined 1.4 % to make up 40% of sales. Adjusted operating profit grew 5.7% to $12.0 million, while gross profit margins declined 37 basis points to 47.9% of sales because of higher product costs associated with the Panlab acquisitions (see IBO 10/15/07). For 2009, revenues are forecasted to decline 4%–10% to $80–$85 million, including a 11% decline from currency translations. First-quarter revenues are expected to fall 8%–13% to $19–$20 million.

For the year, Horiba’s Analytical Instruments and Systems sales fell 3.8% to ¥38,531 million ($372.6 million = ¥103.40 = $1) to account for 29% of company sales. In reported US dollars, segment sales climbed 9.6%. Revenue growth was adversely affected by pricing competition and slower demand in the private sector. However, the company reported increased demand for “advanced science products“ and stable demand for environmental measurement instruments. Segment operating profit fell 31.6% to ¥1,827 million ($17.7 million), while operating margins declined nearly two percentage points to 4.7% of sales. During the fourth quarter, segment orders fell 46.5% to ¥5,908 million ($61.5 million). For 2009, Analytical Instrument and Systems sales are expected to decline 8% to ¥35,500 million ($343.3 million).

OI’s fourth-quarter revenues grew 2.7% to $7.0 million. Operating profit soared 77.5% to $0.5 million on account of lower SG&A expenses. Annual sales rose 6.8% to $29.0 million, but backlog orders fell 51.6% to $1.9 million. Lab product sales climbed 18.6% to account for 75% of sales. GC sales grew 24% driven by domestic demand from government and education markets. Organic carbon analyzers (TOC) sales jumped 26% with increased demand from Europe and Asia-Pacific. Sales of automated chemistry analyzers (ACA) and MINICAMS systems declined 4% and 18%, respectively. GC, TOC, ACA and MINICAMS accounted for 42%, 13%, 9% and 20% of sales. Service revenue grew 5.6% to represent 12% of sales. US and international sales rose 7.0% and 6.1%, respectively. Operating profit was $1.5 million, compared to a loss of $17,000 due to reduced operating expenditures. Gross profit margins fell 150 basis points to 49.3% of sales.

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