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Sales increase reflects order backlog from 1999, strong growth in genomics sector in the United States.
Hombrechtikon/Zurich, Switzerland, April 11, 2000 – TECAN, the world’s leading automation provider for the life sciences industry, reported sales of CHF 58.6 million for the first quarter of 2000, an increase of 59% compared with CHF 36.8 million for the same period in 1999. Excluding exchange rate fluctuations, sales increased by 47%.
“We are extremely pleased with our results for the first quarter,“ said Emile Sutcliffe, CEO of TECAN. “A major contributing factor was the Human Genome Project, which increased demand for high throughput systems to prepare DNA. Pharmaceutical companies are now sifting through the volumes of biochemical data generated by this project to test for new drug targets. As the industry leader in automated laboratory systems, Tecan is well positioned to capture these opportunities.”
At the same time, TECAN’S CEO dampened expectations of continued growth at the current pace. “We benefited from a backlog of orders in the last quarter of 1999,” said Sutcliffe, “which gave us an additional boost this quarter. A weak first quarter in 1999 and the exchange rate of the U.S. dollar also made this year’s figures appear exceptionally strong. Nevertheless, given the very favorable market dynamics in the life sciences industry, we are confident of posting strong growth of between 20% to 30% for the whole of the year ”
Balanced geographic growth
Significant sales growth occurred in all geographical segments. In America, sales jumped to CHF 29.1 million, a marked increase of 68% in local currencies over 1999, also due to the successful launch of the first fully automated system for preparing DNA samples. In Europe, sales rose to CHF 24.1 million, a 26% increase in local currencies over last year. While Asia is still the smallest market in absolute terms, its CHF 5.4 million in sales translated into a 57% gain in local currencies over last year.
Well ahead of budget forecasts
TECAN reported sales in the first quarter of 2000 well above budget, with the North American market showing a strong performance compared to the first quarter of 1999. This impressive increase is attributed in part to additional purchases from the life science business area, particularly genomics. Sales to the genomics and drug discovery market segment are expected to make up more than 50% of TECAN’s annual sales.