Drug industry customers in Western Europe drove the modest gains achieved by GEA pharmaceutical business in Q2 2012.
The processing technology firm reported a book-to-bill ratio – a measure of orders received to units shipped – of 1.16 in Western Europe for the three months to June 30, indicating an increase in demand. Overall GEA’s pharma book to bill ratio stood at 1.08 for the quarter, which is also positive.
Speaking at the processing technology firm’s second quarter results presentation COO Helmut Schmale said that: “From an industry point of view food, pharma and chemicals promised growth while power, marine, environment…appeared to be declining.”
“From a regional perspective North America and Asia-Pacific are the growth areas. Food and energy in North America, food energy and chemicals in Asia-pacific and Pharma in Western Europe currently stand out as cluster of growth.”
GEA’s process engineering segment – which includes its pharma business – saw sales increase 4 per cent from Q2 in 2011 to €401.2m ($492m) and EBIT climb 29 per cent to €35.8m. Total revenue for the quarter was €1.39bn, up 3 per cent, while EBIT increased around 8 per cent to €119m.
The firm’s comments about its European Pharma business follow just months after it bought Swiss aseptic valve maker Aseptomag .
At the time it said that the deal was prompted by increased demand from the food and pharmaceutical manufacturing markets in the region.
GEA has also been active in the US pharmaceutical sector. Earlier this month its Pharma Systems Business sold one of its ConsiGma oral solid dose continuous processing lines to an unnamed US pharmaceutical firm.
Details of the deal were not disclosed although GEA did say that it will be supplying a line capable of continuous solid dosage production platform, continuous blending, wet granulation and drying, dry granulation and direct compression.
Jan Vugts, MD of GEA Pharma Systems said: “We were all delighted to receive the order. GEA has many years’ experience with continuous processing in other industries and GPS is a market leader in batch granulation, drying and compression technologies for the pharma industry.
“I believe this experience and the expertise of the team in our global competence centre near Antwerp, Belgium have greatly contributed to the confidence this customer has shown in GPS.”
The tech is due to be shipped next year.