LIONVILLE, Pa. (Nov. 2) — Medical components manufacturer West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. reported net sales of $218.4 million in the third quarter, up 20.3 percent from the same period in 2005, the company announced today.
Net earnings for the quarter were $13.3 million, compared to $7.8 million last year. Earnings per diluted share from continuing operations were 35 cents, up from 22 cents in the third quarter of 2005, West said. Businesses acquired since the beginning of 2005 contributed $55.4 million to the sales total and 3.8 percentage points to the sales growth in the 2006 quarter, the company said.
In the nine-month period of fiscal 2006, net income rose 53.7 percent from last year to $52.1 million. Net sales increased 35.2 percent to $681.4 million.
"Organic sales growth in West´s value-added pharmaceutical packaging products and production efficiencies are contributing to our improved financial performance," said Donald E. Morel Jr., West chairman and CEO. "We are on track to finish 2006 well ahead of our expectations at the beginning of the year."
Morel said that on the strength of the third quarter and current operating rates, the company expects its fourth-quarter earnings from continuing operations will be between 38 cents and 42 cents per diluted share.
"The improving performance, along with our planned investments in innovation, production capacity and geographic expansion, should sustain our growth and profitability for the foreseeable future."
West added that it is further accelerating the expansion of its production capacity. Incremental spending is focused on expansions in the company´s European and Asia/Pacific operating regions, and more specifically, several agreements have been concluded relating to the establishment of production facilities in China, with completion and initial production planned for 2009.
Current expectations are that 2006 capital spending will be between $80 and $90 million, as some of the earlier-announced 2006 spending will now occur in 2007, contributing to the higher spending plans for next year, now estimated to be between $110 and $125 million, the company said.