The Top 30 Companies of 2013

Notwithstanding currency, there were only subtle changes in the 2013 calendar-year rankings on IBO’s list of the top 30 analytical and life science instrument and aftermarket companies as a result of modest growth and fewer acquisitions. However, Illumina was the highlight, rising one spot to the number nine position, with more than 20% sales growth to over $1.3 billion in revenues. Benefiting from a broader installed base of next-generation sequencing (NGS) systems, strong demand for sequencing consumables and sample perpetration products, and an expanded customer base, Illumina was the only company among the top 30 companies to record double-digit revenue growth last year. Other notable changes included QIAGEN, which ascended four spots to number 13 due to acquisitions and IBO’s recalculation of the sales of its Applied Testing segment. FEI climbed two spots to number 22, as sales grew roughly 7% as a result of strong demand for microscopes from research and science customers in China, new products and acquisitions. Currency primarily accounted for the remaining changes in rankings, especially for Japanese companies.

While the world economy showed steady economic improvement throughout 2013, in general, it was an ambiguous year for analytical and life science instrumentation industry, as demand varied by customer and geographic markets. The few broad consistencies revealed lower research-related spending in the US and parts of Europe, along with slower demand from industrial markets. In addition, the depreciation of the yen negatively impacted sales for Japanese companies when converted into US dollars and created currency headwinds for US companies’ sales in the country.

As reported in US dollars, total 2013 analytical and life science instrument and aftermarket sales for the top 30 companies grew roughly 1.9% to $34.6 billion to account for 76% of the total industry (see IBO 1/15/14). Excluding currency effects, sales for the top 30 firms expanded roughly 3.8%, or approximately 3.3% without acquisitions. Excluding Illumina, sales for the top 30 grew 3.3% on a currency-neutral basis and 2.7% organically.

IBO’s calculations of the top 30 companies’ revenues and their rankings are based on the companies’ analytical and life science instrument and aftermarket sales that fall into 1 of 10 technology categories as defined by IBO’s annual forecast issue (see IBO 1/15/14).

The overall market growth rate for the top 30 companies was primarily influenced by the top five firms, for which 2013 combined sales grew roughly 3.1%, 3.8% organically, to account for 45% of the top 30 companies’ total sales. Thermo Fisher Scientific held the top spot for the fourth consecutive year, with about $4.3 billion in sales in 2013. Despite weak academic and government sales, Thermo experienced strong demand for MS products. With the acquisition of Life Technologies complete (see IBO 2/15/14), Thermo would account for nearly 20% of the top 30 companies’ sales. As for Life, it maintained the number four position among the top 30, with roughly $2.5 billion in revenues. The company recorded low single-digit sales growth in 2013, led primarily by Ion Torrent sales, offset by lower qPCR royalties and weak demand in the US.

Agilent Technologies and Danaher each recorded roughly 4% organic sales growth in 2013 and over $3 billion in sales to maintain their positions at the number two and three spots, respectively. Agilent experienced strong LC, consumables and service revenue growth as well as good demand from food and forensics applications. However, overall instrument sales were mixed. Danaher benefited from strong sales of life science MS systems and confocal microscopes. At number five, Waters recorded the third-strongest organic growth rate among the top 30 companies, behind only Illumina and FEI. The company benefited from demand for high-end MS systems and new products, as well as increases in revenues from consumables and service.

For the 6 other companies in the top 30 that recorded sales of $1 billion or more, revenue differences narrowed and rankings shifted. Aside from the switch in rankings between Illumina and Merck KGaA (Merck Millipore), PerkinElmer and Shimadzu also traded spots at numbers seven and eight, respectively, as a result of currency.

Similarly, the revenue differences among the companies in the top 30 with sales of around the $500 million level tightened. Sales for the seven firms at numbers 19 through 25 are separated by about $25 million. Eppendorf rose four spots to number 21 despite lower organic sales, due to the conversion of its 2013 sales (see page 12) from euros to dollars. Roche gained two positions to number 19, as growth for qPCR sales offset declines in its NGS and microarray businesses.

Several other Japanese companies fell in the rankings because of the translation of their 2013 sales into US dollars. Hitachi High-Technologies and Nikon both dropped three spots, while Olympus was knocked down six positions to number 25 due to currency and updated financial data. JEOL and HORIBA experienced similar declines in sales due to currency effects. But JEOL advanced two spots to number 20 as a result of recalculated electron microscope revenue. HORIBA benefited from acquisitions.

While consolidation had less impact on the top 30 in 2013 compared to previous years, acquisitions still contributed to the overall growth for 4 companies. Aside from QIAGEN and HORIBA, sales growth for Bio-Rad Laboratories and Oxford Instruments each benefited by roughly four percentage points due to acquisitions.

For the 6 Japanese firms in the top 30, total sales climbed roughly in the low double digits in local currency but declined modestly excluding currency. For the 10 European firms, total revenues grew roughly 0.8%, or 1.8% organically. For the 14 US companies, total sales grew roughly 3.7%, 4.3% organically, to account for 68% of the top 30’s sales.

< | >