EUROFINS SCIENTIFIC : Eurofins revenues up 8% and EBITAS up 114% in Q2

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30 August 2010

Eurofins is pleased to announce a good second quarter in 2010, where revenues grew by 8% and overall by over 4% for the first half year. Profits also improved significantly in Q2 with reported EBITDA* growing by 51% and EBITAS** by 114%. The market trends in most areas of its business showed encouraging signs for the rest of the year and the Group's profitability benefited from a combination of more normal weather and the beginning of the payback for the last 24 months of accelerated reorganisation and five years (2006-2010) of heavy investment in a modern, efficient and productive laboratory network.

Key results were as follows:

§        Revenues for the second quarter increased 8% to ¤169.4m, from ¤156.8m in Q2 2009 despite the effect of discontinued activities. Half Year revenues increased 4% to ¤318.6m (H1 2010 ¤305.0m) even after taking into account the impact of discontinued activities and of the severe weather in the first quarter. Organic growth for Q2 2010 was over 5% and for H1 2010 was over 3%.

§        Reported EBITDA increased by 51% in Q2 2010 to ¤24.5m from ¤16.2m in Q2 2009. For H1 2010 EBITDA increased by 30% (H1 2010 ¤34.9m, H1 2009 ¤26.9m). Before one-off/reorganisation charges of ¤5.2m for H1 2010 (¤4.9m H1 2009), but after the cost of the Group's 15 start ups, clean*** EBITDA increased to ¤40.1m (H1 2009 ¤31.8m).

§        EBITAS also increased to ¤13.8m in Q2 2010 from ¤6.5m in Q2 2009, an increase of 114%. In H1 2010 the increase was 83% (H1 2010 ¤14.6m, H1 2009 ¤8.0m). Before one-off/reorganisation charges but after the cost of the Group's 15 start ups, clean EBITAS increased to ¤19.8m (H1 2009 ¤12.9m).

§        Net profit for H1 2010 was ¤4.5m, compared to a net loss for H1 2009 of -¤2.9m.

§        Long term financing secured with OBSAAR issue on June 29. Eurofins' equity investors benefit from favourable interest rates on OBSAAR and Hybrid instrument (issued in May 2007)

§        Strong Balance Sheet at 30 June 2010: cash of ¤155.1m (31 December 2009 ¤54.4m), net working capital at 5.7% of revenues (30.06.2009 7.2%) and covenant ratios stable for the third successive quarter (net debt : equity 0.9x, net debt : last 12 months clean EBITDA 2.0x) and comfortably within limits (1.5x and 3.5x respectively).

§        Net cash flow provided by operating activities in Q2 2010 increased 90% to ¤10.1m (Q2 2009 ¤5.3m). For H1 2010 this was a 63% increase to ¤19.2m from ¤11.8m in H1 2009.

As noted in the preliminary press releasei each of the three main business areas saw improvement in their markets overall. Food testing has been the most robust activity, showing its resilience to the wider economic downturn, and posted results well ahead of the comparable period in 2009. This improvement was across all of the Group's main markets and also started to show in Eurofins' start-up laboratories around the world. Meanwhile the environmental testing business saw a return to better volumes as those end markets that had been affected by the exceptionally cold weather in Q1 2010 improved during the quarter. In Eurofins' pharma services the overall results were better too, but there continue to be areas of softness in some of the markets where Eurofins is active (e.g. early development) as well as there being some effect from the timing of projects, for example in the central laboratory (clinical) phases. In all three markets the Q2 2010 pick up was generally on a linear monthly basis and so there is cause for cautious optimism for the remaining quarters of the year, which are historically stronger anyway. There was a small beneficial net foreign exchange difference (around 2%) on the half-year reported revenues. Organic growth for the second quarter was over 5%, with an H1 2010 organic growth rate of over 3% (after a flat first quarter).

The improvements in profitability come mainly from increased productivity across the Eurofins Group laboratories: as volumes increase, as the reorganisation efforts of the last 24 months start to take effect, and as the benefit of the very large investment programme in large, modern laboratories of the last five years starts to show. Profits are even ahead of the 2008 comparable numbers: Q2 2010 EBITDA was 20% ahead of Q2 2008 ¤20.4m, a 1.4 percentage point increase in margins.

One-off costs for the second quarter were ¤2.4m (Q2 2009 ¤3.0m), making total one-off costs for the half year ¤5.2m (H1 2009 ¤4.9m). This comprises mostly employment contracts termination costs and provisions for long term lease commitments at sites that are becoming empty as planned. The Group will continue to invest in its start up businesses, which are showing good results both for revenues generated and improving profitability, although they are still planned to lose about ¤10m for the full year of 2010 (this amount is in addition to and distinct from the one-off/reorganisation costs).

During the quarter Eurofins secured its long term financing with its ¤176m OBSAAR issue, which closed on June 29th . The purpose of this transaction was to refinance the OBSAR bonds issued in March 2006 and to lengthen the average maturity of the Group's overall debt. Eurofins was able to take advantage of favourable conditions in the credit markets with the coupon set at 175 basis points above 3-month Euribor, by now mostly hedged to a fixed rate. The transaction was subscribed to by a consortium of banks and the market and ¤70.3m of the 2006 issue was immediately repaid. The remaining cash will be used to pay off the balance of the 2006 OBSAR (now only ¤16m a year for the next three years), with around ¤56m available for further investment in the business. As the transaction closed at the very end of the period, there was no time to deploy it immediately and so there is a much higher cash balance (¤155.1m) than would normally be needed. The net debt figure at the period end was ¤198.0m, slightly up from ¤183.7m at 31 December 2009 as represented by the free cash outflow (including ¤8.1m dividend to hybrid holders), but the covenant ratios remain stable for the third successive quarter at 0.9x net debt to equity and 2.0x net debt to the last 12 months clean EBITDA, still comfortably within the maximum limits of 1.5x and 3.5x respectively.

The Group's cash flow continues to show good progress. Net cash provided by operating activities increased by 90% for the second quarter and by 63% overall for H1 2010. Net working capital was only 5.7% of revenues at 30 June 2010, maintaining the improved level from Q1 2010 and as low as it has been at this time for over five years (7.2% 30 June 2009). Capital expenditure for the six months was ¤19.5m (H12009 ¤21.8m), which at 6.1% of revenues is still high but below last year (H1 2009 7.2%) and closer to Eurofins' long term normalised levels required for maintenance and growth. Full year capex is still expected to be approximately ¤50m in order to complete the current 5-year investment programme. Eurofins also paid the annual 'hybrid' dividend of ¤8.081m in May. Therefore although overall the Free Cash Flow**** for H1 2010 showed a 50% improvement to -¤12.1m from -¤24.0m in H1 2009, if business evolves as planned it should actually improve dramatically in the second half of the year as: operational results should get even better, there is no further hybrid dividend payable and one-off/reorganisation cash payments, including payment of some of those provisioned in 2009, (H1 2010 ¤9.8m, H1 2009 ¤5.8m) are expected to be lower.

In summary, the first six months of 2010 confirmed that while the Group is still finishing off its "homework" and investment plan in this year, Eurofins shareholders should benefit in the longer term from all that has been done in the last five years. From a financial perspective the favourable long term debt rate and the tax-deductible hybrid coupon secured by Eurofins in 2007 (8.081% gross) as well as the planned drop in capital expenditure in 2011 following the end of the 5 years investment plan should contribute to significantly increasing free cash flow return to equity. In the meantime, if the markets in which it operates do indeed continue their positive trends then the Group stands to benefit operationally slightly ahead of schedule. Eurofins' management is confident that the full effect of all of the above should begin to be apparent in the year 2011 and even more beyond when its start ups start to contribute significantly to overall profits.  


 

Summary table of key results

(¤m) H1 2010 H1 2009 % +/- Q2 2010 Q2 2009 % +/-
Revenues 318.6 305.0 +4% 169.4 156.8 +8%
Clean EBITDA 40.1 31.8 +26% 26.8 19.2 +40%
EBITDA 34.9 26.9 +30% 24.4 16.2 +51%
Clean EBITAS 19.8 12.9 +54% 16.2 9.4 +72%
EBITAS 14.6 8.0 +83% 13.8 6.5 +114%
Net profit attr. to equity holders 3.3 -3.4 n/a 6.3 -0.5 n/a
Net cash provided by operating activities 19.2 11.8 +63% 10.1 5.3 +90%

*      EBITDA - Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation

**    EBITAS - Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Amortisation of intangible assets related to acquisitions and non-cash charge for Share options

***   'clean' - a proforma presentation excluding one-off/reorganisation costs but including the losses of start ups.

**** Free Cash Flow - net cash flow provided by operating activities less cash used in investing activities, excluding acquisition payments, and including interest and hybrid instrument payments.

i  Press Release dated 15 July 2010

Full disclosure can be found in the First Half Year Report 2010, including further management commentary, consolidated financial statements and accompanying summary notes.

The First Half Year Report 2010 can be found on the Eurofins website at the following location:

http://www.eurofins.com/en/investor-relations/reports--presentations.aspx

For further information please contact:

Investor Relations                                                           

Phone:    +32-2-769 7383                                             

E-mail:     ir@eurofins.com                                             

Notes for the editor:

Eurofins - a global leader in bio-analysis

Eurofins Scientific is a life sciences company operating internationally to provide a comprehensive range of analytical testing services to clients from a wide range of industries including the pharmaceutical, food and environmental sectors.

With 8,000 staff in more than 150 laboratories across 30 countries, Eurofins offers a portfolio of over 40,000 reliable analytical methods for evaluating the authenticity, origin, safety, identity, composition and purity of biological substances and products. The Group is committed to providing its customers with high quality services, accurate results in time and, if requested, expert advice by its highly qualified staff.

The Eurofins Group is the world leader in food testing and one of the global market leaders in pharmaceuticals and environmental testing. It intends to pursue its dynamic growth strategy and expand 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 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 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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