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Sigma’s Q1 helped by HPAPI sales

By Gareth Macdonald , 26-Apr-2010

Demand for HPAPIs helped US life science and technology supplier Sigma-Aldrich to a positive set of first quarter financials.

Operating income for the three months ended March 31 reached $147m (€110m), up $22m on the comparable period last year, while total sales grew just over 10 per cent to $572m.

SAFC, the Sigma unit that makes high-potency active pharmaceutical ingredients (HPAPI), saw revenue of $152m which, although down on the previous quarter, was 9 per cent higher than that reported in Q1 2009.

Sigma, which completed a $30m expansion of its HPAPI facility in Madison earlier this month , said that strong demand from the drug industry was an important part in the gains made by SAFC.

The firm also reported growth across its other business units. Research chemicals maintained its position as the biggest contributor with revenue growing some 8 per cent to $420m.

Sigma’s specialties unit was next in line, with sales increasing some 10 per cent to $217m, followed by essentials, which grew 5 per cent to $107m, and biotech whose contribution was 11 per cent higher at $91m.

This means, according to Sigma CEO Jai Nagarkatti, that “About 45 per cent of [the firm’s] sales are now derived from biology related products for research applications.”

He said that this had been achieved through expansion of Sigma’s offering, citing the acquisition of Ace Animals, the licensing deal with Highland Stable Isotopes and the launch of its “Where Bio begins” campaign as key drivers.

Nagarkatti also predicted mid-single digit sales growth, explaining that: “the analytical, biology and materials sciences growth initiatives, coupled with our cost management activities” would be the foundation of such performance.

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