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March 18, 1999 | Corporate News | English

Financial Year 1998
Improvements in Tecan's profit-earning capacity continues – Increased dividend

1998 was another successful year for the Tecan Group with a 15% growth in sales (currency adjusted +17%) to CHF 163.6m. In particular, growth was positively influenced by the introduction of newly developed and modified products in the range of robotic sample processors and dilutors. Operational results before investments in research and development rose by 29% compared to 1997. Profit increased by 13% to CHF 22.9m. The number of employees increased in 1998 by 12% to 507. The Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting on May 12, 1999 a dividend payment which increases from 15% to 20% on the share capital entitled for dividends.

Hombrechtikon, March 18, 1999 - In 1998 the Tecan Group continued its growth. In the base currency, sales increased by 17% (1997: +28%) to CHF 163.6m. Whereas considerable sales successes were achieved in North America and Europe, the Asian crisis and a lower valuation of the DEM had a restraining effect. The robotic sample processors contributed to this sales growth with an increase of 24% to CHF 102m and the dilutors and valves with an increase of 34% to CHF 20.2m. Sales of photometers, washers and dispensers remained stable at CHF 33.2m.

Significant increase in R&D investments
At 11% of sales, investments in R&D were markedly above the previous year's level of 7%. Financial support was directed mainly towards new projects in Diagnostics, especially in Front-End Automation. To market this new laboratory automation systems for the sample preparation, Tecan entered last year into a strategic project with Abbott Laboratories, one of the world’s leading providers in the diagnostics field.
The operating result rose by 12% to CHF 31.5m compared to the previous year even though net investments in R & D were increased by 76 % to CHF 18.3m.
Improvements in the financial result by CHF 2.0m and reductions of extraordinary expenses by CHF 0.3m contributed to the increase in profit by 13% to CHF 22.9m. Despite a once-only impact of a tax system change in the Canton of Zurich increased tax payments of CHF 3.2m had a negative effect on profit. Earnings per bearer share rose from CHF 157 to CHF 177.

Financial Statement of Tecan AG
The financial statement of Tecan AG closes with a profit of CHF 22.3m. The Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting on May 12, 1999, the payment of an increased dividend of CHF 20 per bearer share and of CHF 3 per registered share.

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