EUROFINS SCIENTIFIC : Eurofins raises dividends and objectives for 2012

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30 March 2012

Eurofins is upgrading its revenue objective for 2012 to at least EUR 950m, from the EUR 900m objective communicated in October 20111. Following the strong performance for the full year 2011, and especially in the last quarter, despite the challenging economic environment in Europe, the management is confident that the Group should be able to generate higher revenues than originally forecast. Indeed, volumes at the beginning of 2012 indicate that the Group's 5% organic growth objective for 2012 and 2013 should be achieved, and are likely to be exceeded. The strong organic growth outlook, combined with the full contribution from recent acquisitions, should enable the Group to achieve revenues in excess of EUR 950m in 2012 and EUR 1bn by 2013 even without further acquisitions.

The management is also optimistic that the Group should be able to deliver further profitability improvements in 2012 and progress towards achieving its mid-term objective of generating at least EUR 210m in adjusted2 EBITDA3 by 2013.

In addition, as the Company has completed its 5-year investment programme in 2010 and is now entering a phase where it plans to generate significant Free Cash Flows, the Company's Board of Directors proposed to raise the amount of dividends to be paid to its shareholders from profits generated by the Group in 2011. The Board proposed to increase the dividend payment to EUR 0.80 per share, representing a 4x increase from the previous year, against the 184% increase in the Company's earnings per share attributable to equity holders to EUR 3.064. The amount implies a dividend pay-out ratio of 26%, versus 19% in 2011. The resolution was duly passed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on the 29th of March, 2012, and adopted accordingly*.

Comment from the CEO, Dr. Gilles Martin: "I am pleased to communicate with you the continued progress that the Group is making towards our mid-term objectives. The increase in shareholder remuneration signifies our commitment to our shareholders. More importantly, this profit distribution demonstrates our confidence in achieving even better performance in the coming years, as we expect to further strengthen our cash flows. Eurofins has now reached a size and maturity where it should be able to combine high growth and cash generation. Over the next five years, Eurofins is likely to be able to grow revenues by 10% to 20% per year through a mix of organic growth and acquisitions, whilst significantly increasing Free Cash Flows, remunerating shareholders, and reducing net debt levels relative to its equity or EBITDA."

* Record and payment dates will be set shortly and communicated separately. 

1 Press release dated 06 October 2011

2 Adjusted - excludes one-off costs from integration, reorganization and discontinued operations, temporary losses related to network expansion/start-ups, amortisation of acquisition intangibles, non-cash accounting charges for stock options, and other non-recurring costs

3  EBITDA - Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization

4 Earnings per share attributable to equity holders after payment of fixed dividend to hybrid holders

For further information please contact:

Investor Relations and Corporate Communications

Phone: +32-2-769 7383

E-mail: ir@eurofins.com

Notes for the editor:

Eurofins - a global leader in bio-analysis

Eurofins Scientific is the world leader in food and pharmaceutical products testing. It is also number one in the world in the field of environmental laboratory services and one of the global market leaders in agroscience, genomics and central laboratory services.

With over 10,000 staff in more than 160 laboratories across 32 countries, Eurofins offers a portfolio of over 100,000 reliable analytical methods for evaluating the safety, identity, composition, authenticity, origin and purity of biological substances and products. The Group provides its customers with high quality services, accurate results in time and expert advice by its highly qualified staff.

Eurofins is committed to pursuing its dynamic growth strategy by expanding both its technology portfolio and its geographic reach. Through R&D and acquisitions, the Group draws on the latest developments in the field of biotechnology and analytical chemistry to offer its clients unique analytical solutions and the most comprehensive range of testing methods.

As one of the most innovative and quality oriented international players in its industry, Eurofins is ideally positioned to support its clients' increasingly stringent quality and safety standards and the expanding demands of regulatory authorities around the world.

The shares of Eurofins Scientific are listed on the NYSE Euronext Paris Stock Exchange (ISIN FR0000038259, Reuters EUFI.PA, Bloomberg ERF FP).

Important disclaimer:

This press release contains forward-looking statements and estimates that involve risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements and estimates contained herein represent the judgement of Eurofins Scientific' management as of the date of this release. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees for future performance, and the forward-looking events discussed in this release may not occur. Eurofins Scientific disclaims any intent or obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements and estimates. All statements and estimates are made based on the data available to the Company as of the date of publication, but no guarantee can be made as to their validity. 

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