Sartorius expects lower growth in 2023 – solid figures for 2022
GÖTTINGEN (dpa-AFX) – After another strong year with substantial sales and earnings growth, pharmaceutical and laboratory equipment supplier Sartorius is preparing to wind down. For 2023, the DAX-listed company is aiming for sales revenue growth in the low single digits on a constant currency basis, Sartorius announced in Goettingen, Germany, on Thursday. The background is also a drop in order intake after the Lower Saxony-based company still benefited exceptionally strongly from demand from vaccine manufacturers during the corona pandemic. Excluding the corona-related business, sales are expected to increase in the upper single-digit percentage range in 2023. The stock rose sharply in premarket trading.
In the morning, the shares gained a good three percent to 420 euros on the trading platform Tradegate compared to the closing of Xetra. Analyst Odysseas Manesiotis of the private bank Berenberg spoke about solid results and decent business prospects in relation to market expectations.
In 2022, Sartorius had even higher growth. According to preliminary calculations, sales revenue had increased by 21 percent year on year to just under 4.2 billion euros; adjusted for exchange rate effects, this was an increase of 15 percent. Despite the challenging environment, Sartorius grew in its entire portfolio and all regions, said Group CEO Joachim Kreuzburg according to the press release. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (adjusted Ebitda) rose by a fifth to a healthy 1.4 billion euros.
The adjusted operating margin decreased slightly to 33.8 percent from 34.1 percent a year earlier. In 2021, however, Sartorius still benefited from the cost side, for example, from delays in hiring due to the pandemic and fewer business trips; such effects had a stronger impact again in 2022.
Under the line, the adjusted net profit reached 655 million euros, a good increase of 18 percent year after year. The Group plans to present its annual report with final figures on 17 February.
Sartorius had recently responded to rising costs and inflation with price increases – the Group therefore raised its sales revenue target for the period up to 2025 from around 5 to now 5.5 billion euros . The adjusted operating margin (adjusted Ebitda margin) is expected to remain the same at around 34 percent.
After two exceptionally strong years related to the pandemic, demand has normalized and business related to corona is much lower, the Group added. As a result, order intake is down a good 6 percent to around 4 billion euros in 2022. During the pandemic, Sartorius had also benefited from a change in the ordering behavior of customers, who had distributed larger orders at first and ordered more in advance. usual.
Above all, the Biotechnology Division, which is mainly managed under the umbrella of the French subsidiary Sartorius Stedim Biotech, benefited from the high demand of Corona during the pandemic. It was significantly affected by the lower orders. However, this division, which offers a wide range of technologies for the manufacture of vaccines and pharmaceutical products, could also achieve double-digit percentage growth in both sales revenue and earnings in 2022.
The much smaller laboratory division also flourished – here, order intake increased in contrast to the larger biotech pillar. According to the figures, the business with bioanalytical instruments grew particularly strongly. The Executive Board of Kreuzburg expects the Laboratory Division to grow more strongly than the biotechnology business in the new year.
At the same time, the Executive Board expects that the corona-related business will be completely eliminated this year, as Kreuzburg explained in a video conference with journalists. In 2021, Sartorius still generated around half a billion euros in sales revenue from pandemic-related business – last year, revenue from this business had already dropped to around 220 million euros./tav/mis /stk