Record EBIT of CHF 441 million (+8%; +12% on a comparable basis)
Net income growth of 39% further strengthening the investment-grade balance sheet and supporting the ability to generate further sustainable growth
Performance on track due to the strengthened portfolio of businesses
Bioscience and the extension of the custom manufacturing model to the joint development of product pipelines forge a deeper integration with customers
The Board of Directors is proposing a cash dividend of CHF 1.75 per share
Lonza Group Ltd (SIX: LONN) today announced its financial results for the year ended on 31 December 2008.
- Performance growth driven by Exclusive Synthesis and Life Science Ingredients, and by cost and efficiency improvements overall:
- EBIT up 12% on a comparable basis1) to a record CHF 441 million
- EBIT margins up by 0.8% percentage points to 15.0% of sales
- Net income up 39.2% to CHF 419 million
- Balance sheet structure with investment grade profile due to conservative financing strategy:
- Gearing stable at 76%
- 80% of debt long-term financed at fixed rates – with staggered repayment timelines
- Cash position of CHF 566 mn solely invested in fixed income money markets
- Flexibility maintained allowing for mid-sized acquisition opportunities
- Net working capital down to 19.9% of sales from 21.5%in 2007
- Number of employees rose by 9.7% since January 2008 to 8 462
- EBIT growth of 12% over the comparable basis of CHF 395 million for 2007
Lonza’s mix of life-science products and services contributed to a balanced performance across its businesses. Sales for the full year grew by 2.3% to CHF 2 937 million (+10.4% in local currencies, based on continuing operations1). Cost and efficiency improvements achieved through operational excellence programs counteracted most of the effects of the significant negative currency, raw material and customer financing headwinds. EBIT margins increased by 0.8 percentage points to 15.0% of sales. Along with a low underlying tax rate, the book gain recorded on the sale of the remaining stake in Polynt S.p.A. led to an increase in net income of 39.2% to CHF 419 million. Gearing remained stable at 76% by year-end, despite the acquisition of amaxa and high capital expenditure. The strong balance sheet and conservative financing further improve flexibility and the ability to generate sustainable growth, while minimizing the effects of the ongoing financial crisis.
All strategic projects are on track. With sound execution of its long-term plan, Lonza continues to drive growth initiatives in the form of strategic investments and organic growth projects. The recently signed agreement to develop a selected number of biosimilars represents a new strategic initiative for the development of our group.
Based on visibility of contracts, projects and economic conditions, Lonza expects:
- EBIT growth in the mid to high teens on average until 2013.
- Project pipeline fully aligned to support growth expectations – 80% of capacity expansion committed today.
Lonza is one of the world's leading suppliers to the pharmaceutical, healthcare and life science industries. Its products and services span its customers’ needs from research to final product manufacture. Lonza is the global leader in the production and support of active pharmaceutical ingredients both chemically as well as biotechnologically. Biopharmaceuticals are one of the key growth drivers of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Lonza has strong capabilities in large and small molecules, peptides, amino acids and niche bioproducts which play an important role in the development of novel medicines and healthcare products. Lonza is a leader in cell-based research, endotoxin detection and cell therapy manufacturing. Lonza is also a leading provider of value chemical and biotech ingredients to the nutrition, hygiene, preservation, agro and personal care markets.
Lonza is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland and is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange. In 2008, Lonza had sales of CHF 2.94 billion. Further information can be found at www.lonza.com.
For further Information:
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Fax +41 61 316 9798
Tel +41 61 316 8835
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