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February 20, 2002 | Corporate News | English

Tecan reports record sales growth for the year 2001

  • Net profit reaches CHF 45.1 million on sales of CHF 361.9 million
  • Sales growth of  35% in local currencies
  • Record fourth quarter revenues exceed CHF 100 million for the first time

Zurich, Switzerland, 20 February 2002 – Tecan, a leading player in the fast-growing Life Sciences supply industry, today reported worldwide sales of CHF 361.9 million for the entire year 2001, an increase of 32.3% compared with CHF 273.5 million in 2000. Compared to the record performance of 2000, Tecan further accelerated its sales growth in local currencies by 35% (2000: 33%). In 2001, Tecan increased R&D investments by more than 50% to CHF 44 million or 12.2% of sales (2000: CHF 29 million or 10.6% of sales). Operating profit increased by 7.7% to CHF 62.4 million for the year (2000: CHF 57.9 million). Net profit reached CHF 45.1 million, an increase of 14.3% (2000: CHF 39.5 million). For the first time, fourth quarter sales exceeded CHF 100 million reaching CHF 103.3 million (2000: CHF 83 million). In 2001 Tecan increased shareholder’s equity by 29.6% to CHF 180.2 million. (2000: CHF 139.0 million)

“The merits of our business model were clearly evident in 2001. Tecan continued to outperform the industry and delivered outstanding results for the year in a challenging market environment,” commented Emile Sutcliffe, CEO of the Tecan Group. “ Our presence in the four key markets of Genomics, Proteomics, Drug Discovery and Diagnostics has put us in a robust position in which the company shows resilience to market fluctuations.” He added: “Tecan’s strong product portfolio, balanced presence in all key market segments of the Life Sciences, and effective distribution channels will allow us to build further on this outstanding performance.”

Strong overall performance in market areas

Tecan continued to show strong progress in Genomics/Proteomics, with a 65.6% sales increase to CHF 74.3 million or 20.5 % of sales (2000: CHF 45 million or 16% of sales). In three years, Tecan has managed to develop a CHF 75 million business in these new high growth markets. This very good performance is being driven in part by the demand for front-end (pre-analytic) sequencing and breakthrough solutions for functional genomics.

In Drug Discovery, sales grew by 0.6% to CHF 130.1 million or 36% of total sales (2000: CHF 129 million or 47% of sales). Although Tecan was able to outperform the market also in this area, the global drug discovery sector experienced a clear slowdown in growth. In Diagnostics, sales increased by 58.6% to CHF 157.5 million or 44% of sales (2000: CHF 99 million or 36% of sales). With this growth rate, Tecan was able to significantly outperform the market. This strong growth was mainly driven by increased market penetration of the Genesis FE500 workcell, in molecular diagnostics where Tecan was particularly able to exploit existing synergies from its Genomics business area, and by the impact of new distribution channels.

The widespread slowdown in Drug Discovery was more than compensated by the strong growth rates experienced in Tecan’s other business areas. This is a clear validation of the company’s business model and underlines Tecan’s ability to meet its objectives even when fluctuations in specific markets take place.

Strong performance in Europe and the United States

In terms of performance according to geographic distribution, the United States and Europe, which represent Tecan’s main markets, showed significant growth (33.0% and 33.9%, respectively, in local currencies). Sales growth in Asia increased from 11% to 24% in local currencies. The positive effect of improved distribution channels also permitted Tecan to almost double its sales in the remaining markets (rest of world).

Significant additional investments in R&D

In 2001, Tecan increased its investment in R&D by more than 50% to CHF 44 million. (2000: CHF 29 million) which represents 12.2% of sales (2000: 10.6%). This includes our strategic entry into the new market of Proteomics, as well as the development of the new core competence of microfluidics with the LabCD TM . This significant investment in R&D will also fuel the launch in 2002 of many new products in our established business segments of Genomics, Drug Discovery and Diagnostics.

Net profit increase of 14.3%

The operating profit (Ebit) increased by 7.7% to CHF 62.4 million versus CHF 57.9 million in 2000, reflecting the continued significant investments in Sales & Marketing, in R&D and investments in business systems and processes to support the doubling of sales in the last 3 years. As a result net profit is CHF 45.1 million or 12.5% of sales versus 39.5 million or 14.4% of sales in 2000.

Strong balance sheet

At 31 December 2001, shareholders' equity grew to CHF 180.2 million versus CHF 139.0 million in 2000, an increase of 29.6%.
 
Cash and cash equivalents increased substantially by CHF 15.3 million to CHF 64.4 million from CHF 49.1 million in 2000.

Increased dividend

At the Annual Shareholders meeting on 25 April 2002, the Board of Directors will propose a dividend of CHF 0.45 per registered share versus CHF 0.35 in 2000 reflecting our consecutive increases in dividends.

At the end of the year 2001, Tecan employed 915 employees compared to 690 a year earlier.

Outlook

For more information, please contact:

Tecan Group Ltd.

Annabelle Brameshuber
Corporate Communications
Tel.: +41 (0)44 922 8430
e-mail: investor@tecan.com      

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