Demand for disposable bioprocessing tech helped Millipore to a comfortable Q4, cementing the recovery made by the unit throughout 2009.
Operating profit for the three months ended December 31 was $65.1m (€46m) on revenue of $426m, up 41 per cent and 7.5 per cent on the figures posted for the comparable period in 2008.
And, while bioscience sales grew 6 per cent to $194m, bioprocessing was the key driver for the quarter generating revenue of some $232m for the quarter, up 9 percent on Q4 2008. For the year bioprocessing sales grew 5 per cent to $926m.
The firm attributed the bioprocessing gains to double-digit growth for its downstream processing products, which it said was driven by demand from biotechnology customers and vaccine makers.
CEO Martin Madaus predicted that Millipore’s bioprocessing business will continue to grow in 2010, explaining that: “We expect our Bioprocess Division will benefit from continued demand from our global biotechnology customers.”
But, while resurgent demand may well have been the key driver for bioprocess sales in 2009, Millipore’s efforts at brining new processing products and support infrastructure to market also played a significant role.
In the 12 months to December 31, Millipore rolled out its three new disposable manufacturing solutions for bioprocessing and set up a new applications training and scale up facility in Singapore. More recently the US launched a new virus removal technology, Viresolve Pro.
Madus acknowledged the importance of the new products in the performance of Millipore’s bioprocess division at a results presentation earlier today.
He said that since the firm entered the bioprocessing market in 2006 with the acquisition of Serologicals “we have increased our product offering and then we came out with the flex-ready product line complete assemblies that really no competitor has in the market.
“So we're clearly making inroads, clearly outgrowing the market by a huge margin particularly in 2009, and we continue to see that because now we're still the lead in disposable manufacturing.”