LIONVILLE, Pa. (May 1, 2008) — Medical components manufacturer West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. reported net sales of $270.7 million in the first quarter, up 5.1 percent from 2007, the company announced May 1.
The Lionville-based firm also posted gross profit of $83.5 million, up 3.9 percent from last year. Adjusted operating profit was down slightly from the first quarter of 2007, to $37.8 million, as was net income, to $26.2 million.
While West did not equal last year's “extraordinarily strong” first quarter, Donald E. Morel, the company's chairman and CEO, said he was very satisfied with the company's first-quarter results, which were "consistent with our expectations."
The firm's Tech Group operating results improved despite the loss of the Exubera-brand business, and organic sales growth in the Pharmaceutical Systems segment muted the impact of the decline of West's customers' Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents drug sales, he said.
"We believe that sales of components for ESA drugs will return to a more normal pattern, if not at the same high levels, following the uptake of customer inventories, which is now under way," Morel said. Excluding the effects of the predicted sales declines and currency, sales growth was more than 7 percent and in line with long-term expectations, he said.
Morel added there is no fundamental change in the company's plans or outlook for 2008, and the firm will continue to move forward with increased spending on research and development, and information systems, plus make important progress on the capital and restructuring programs it began last year.
Consistent with those plans, during 2008 West will introduce several key products, including silicone oil-free prefillable syringes and a passive safety needle system, he said. These products are expected to add new sources of significant revenue growth beginning in two or three years.