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The Tecan Group closed fiscal 1998 once again with a substantial growth in sales and achieved the best operating result in its history.
As expected, net sales increased by 15% compared to the previous year (currency adjusted +17%). Growth was mainly achieved by the front-end applications. Regionally, a decline in sales on the Asian markets (-10%) contrasted with a high growth in the USA (+20%) and Europe (+18%). The Asian crisis had a negative impact on orders received of CHF 159 million.
The operating result was again above the very good result of the previous year despite almost doubled research and development spending.
In 1999 the Tecan Group is expecting a double-digit growth in sales although the marketing alliance with Abbott, a world leader in Diagnostics, will only have a positive effect on operations next year. Nevertheless, unexpected currency fluctuations may have a significant impact on the result. Activities in research and development will again be increased in the current year in the areas of the Life Sciences and Diagnostics. This will prepare the ground needed to achieve our growth potential in these markets in subsequent years.