Goettingen, October 20, 2005 – The Sartorius Group, a leading laboratory and process equipment provider worldwide, closed the first nine months of the year 2005 with increases in sales revenue and earnings. The Biotechnology Division in particular grew profitably because of the excellent development of its filter business for biopharmaceutical applications. The Mechatronics Division with all its business areas also contributed to growth and gains in earnings. By contrast, project business with fermenters and bioreactors continued to be unsatisfactory. Meanwhile, for this business area, capacity levels have been adjusted and strategic measures involving the product portfolio, among other things, have been adopted.
In the first nine months of 2005, Group sales revenue rose 4.7% to 353.5 million euros from 337.5 million euros a year ago. In local currencies, sales revenue grew by 5.6%. Sartorius posted the largest gains in sales revenue in the Asian | Pacific region; business in Europe also showed dynamic development. In North America, sales revenue development was not satisfactory because of moderate sales with fermenters and bioreactors. At 365.3 million euros, Group order intake was up 5.1%, considerably above the year-earlier figure of 347.6 million euros (currency-adjusted: up 5.8%).
Sartorius increased its earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) from 20.3 million euros to 25.5 million euros. As goodwill amortization (previous year: 1.9 million euros) ceased to be applied, this had a positive impact on EBIT. The Group EBIT margin improved from 6.0% to 7.2%. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 8.2% in the first nine months of fiscal 2005 to €39.6 million from €36.6 million the previous year. Net profit for the Group soared 43.8% from 9.4 million euros to 13.5 million euros; earnings per share improved accordingly from 0.55 euro to 0.79 euro.
Sartorius posted a positive nine-month net cash flow of 13.7 million euros (previous year: 21.8 million euros). Net debt within the Group for the nine-month period dropped to 73.6 million euros relative to 78.9 million euros reported as of December 31, 2004.