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Zurich, Switzerland, October 26, 2004 – Tecan, the Swiss Life Sciences technology supplier, reports nine-month sales of CHF 209.1 million, and profit of CHF 12.2 million or 6.9% lower and 41.1% higher than 2003 respectively.
During the first nine months of 2004 sales in North America decreased by a total of 9.0% (-3.1% currency adjusted) to CHF 90.8 million, while European sales suffered a slowdown of 3.1% (-4.3%) to CHF 96.9 million. Genomics/Proteomics reported sales of CHF 59.2 million (-2.5%), while Drug Discovery reported CHF 62.0 million (-16.2%) and Diagnostics reported sales of CHF 87.8 million (-2.2%). Drug discovery which declined in double digits continued to impact negatively our overall performance, coupled with our inability to ship key products timely in the diagnostics sector.
In the third quarter sales were CHF 68.8 million, 7.6% lower than 2003, however sales in Europe increased by 4.9% to CHF 35.9 million while sales in North America decreased by 18.9% (12.6% currency adjusted) to CHF 26.4 million reflecting our on going difficulties in shipping product especially in the diagnostic sector due to regulatory issues.
Worldwide Biopharma (Genomics/Proteomics and Drug Discovery), with combined sales of CHF 42.4 million, showed a contrasting picture: sales in Genomics/Proteomics decreased 10.4% to CHF 19.9 million, while Drug Discovery sales only declined by 2.2% to CHF 22.5 million. Diagnostics sales amounted to CHF 26.4 million, a decrease of 9.8% compared to the third quarter of 2003.
For the first nine months profit was CHF 12.2 million versus CHF 8.6 million in 2003 and earnings per share reached CHF 1.11 ( +52.1%). In 2003 the company had extraordinary charges of 12.6 million.
Net profit for the third quarter was CHF 3.0 million (4.4% of sales), compared to a loss of CHF 1.2 million reported in third quarter last year (including extraordinary charges). Earnings per share in Q3 were CHF 0.28.
As per today Tecan successfully closes its second share buy back programme. On May 14, 2003 Tecan Group Ltd. started this second public buy back programme via a second trading line on the Swiss Stock Exchange. 1’300’000 shares (99.4%) of an announced maximum of 1’307’607 shares have been bought back. As decided in the 2004 Ordinary General Shareholders Meeting 847’000 shares have already been cancelled. The Shareholders will be asked to authorize the cancellation of the remaining 453’000 shares at the upcoming Ordinary General Meeting in 2005.
While our ordinary first nine months cumulated order entry for 2004 is similar to that experienced in 2003 Tecan’s order book entry during the third quarter was below the average quarterly orders registered over the last two years.
Tecan will publish its fourth-quarter 2004 and full-year results on March 15, 2005.
A conference call discussing the third quarter results 2004 will take place today at 2pm (CET). This event will also be relayed by live audio web cast which interested parties may access via Tecan’s Corporate home page. A link to the web cast will be provided immediately prior to the event. Additionally, the web cast will be available for replay until close of business on October 29, 2004.
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