News & Views

Mixed Outlook for Laboratory Industry Business in Q3

Feb 14 2006 Read 2148 Times

Industry outlook for Q3 in 2005 reported in Laboratory Business World (Issue 6 Jan), showed a slowing in sales growth from 14% to 11% for the industry, with only a few companies posting above average sales and margins coming under pressure, despite a rise in earnings. Underlying organic growth was estimated at 3-4%. Acquisitions, said to account for a large part of the sales increase, and also some divestitures by companies such as Varian and Agilent, were examples of larger companies moving to concentrate focus on the laboratory field during the quarter; some success was also seen through investment in marketing teams and productivity improvement. Some comp-anies reported to have achieved above average sales growth, included Becton Dickinson, Bio-Rad, Dionex, Qiagen, and Sigma-Aldrich.
Exports to all major regions from the US grew by 11% on the previous year's quarter, resulting in a growth rate of 9% during the period. In Europe, exports to Germany rose by 15%, a strong finish over the 2% decline from the last period. Large rises were also seen in Italy (22%), The Netherlands (20%) and France (10%). The UK reflecting a fall in shipments of 11% with a slight decline in shipments to Belgium (1%). Quarterly shipments to the 10 new ascension countries rose 11% to $11.3 million. The greatest demand was for both instruments, which rose to 15% to over $450 million and labware which grew to almost the same level, while reagent sales remained flat at 1%. Few companies reported a decline in their European business.
The overall industry picture was reasonable for the laboratory products sector although the industry continues to face increasing production and energy costs. The Report concludes that year -end results will be key indicator to determine the release of funds for growth stimulation during the first half of 2006. Laboratory Business World is the Quarterly Review of the Global Scientific Products Marketplace and is available from The Laboratory Products Association, Alexandria, Virginia, USA.
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