LIONVILLE, Pa. (Feb. 23, 2009)—Medical components manufacturer West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. reported net income of $86 million on sales of $1.05 billion—both increases over a year earlier—in fiscal 2008, the company announced Feb. 19.
The earnings figure was a 21.6-percent improvement on the 2007 posting, while the sales mark was a 3-percent increase, according to West's fourth quarter and year-end financial report.
In the final quarter of 2008, the Lionville-based firm reported net earnings of $17.6 million, up from $6 million in 2007. Sales, however, dropped 4.4 percent to $244.9 million.
Donald Morel, West chairman and CEO, said the company knew from the start that 2008 would be a challenge, but said despite the downturns in the second half of the year the results were in line with original estimates. That fact “speaks to the soundness of our business and to the diligence of our sales and operations teams,” he said.
West made substantial progress in 2008 in capacity and geographic expansion projects, as well as major product and information technology programs, Morel said. Investments in those areas will continue because they are critical to long-term growth, he said.
However, the company does anticipate a temporary slowing of sales volume in the first half of 2009 because of discretionary spending on pharmaceutical products and medical services by consumers. West expects real sales growth in 2009 of between 3 and 5 percent, Morel said.