Filtration systems specialist Pall's net profit barely moved in Q2 compared to the similar period last year, up only $400,000 (€331,328) to $32.4m, still its Biopharmaceuticals business, driven by a steady demand in consumables, posted a 4 per cent rise in sales to $80.5m.
Biopharmaceuticals are part of the company's Total Life Sciences section where sales remained flat to around $188m.
Dragging the division down were its Medical segment sales, down 3 per cent to $107.3m, despite double-digit growth in the laboratory portion of the market.
Intriguingly, the demand for contamination control in the medical industry does not appear to have changed; earlier this month Pall was awarded a new long-term agreement with the English National Blood Service (NBS) to provide blood collection systems incorporating its proprietary filtration technology.
However, long-term contracts with major blood bank customers have reduced prices, which, along with the integration of certain corporate functions into the business, made operating profit in the Medical segment plummet by a third to $11.6m.
Nevertheless, Biopharmaceuticals showed a 13.2 per cent rise in operating income to $21m, as growth in consumables was seen across most market sectors, with products for biotechnology, vaccine and plasma production all strong.
Biopharmaceuticals has been held up as a segment likely to drive long-term growth at the company, given the high number of biological drugs coming through to market at present and in the future.
"The filtration demands for the classic pharmaceutical production are relatively low compared to biological processes where the need for filtration is many times higher," Ken Frank, president of Pall's Biopharmaceuticals division, told In-PharmaTechnologist.com.
"An increasing number of biopharmaceutical companies are working with monoclonal antibodies and this drives growth, particularly with regards to the sterilisation of fluids."
As part of its strategy to be a total solution provider for the biopharma industry, Pall last year acquired Euroflow, which makes pilot- and production-scale chromatography columns for the biotechnology industry, while in 2004 it acquired Biosepra, a division of Cirphegen specialising in protein purification technologies.
The company said gross margins should improve even as systems shipments increase in the second half of this year.