Sigma-Aldrich (St. Louis, Missouri) has reported its Q4 and full year 2010 financial results. Q4 2010 reported sales were $582 million, a new quarterly high for the company, and Q4 sales grew by 2% and 3% on a reported and currency adjusted basis, respectively. Additionally, full year 2010 sales increased 6% and 5% on a reported and currency adjusted basis, respectively.
With reported sales for the fourth quarter of 2010 at $582 million, it indicated a 2% increase from the fourth quarter of 2009. Excluding a 1% impact from unfavorable currency rates, fourth quarter organic sales growth was 3%. Fourth quarter sales for the company's research business grew 3% on a currency-adjusted basis, driven primarily by growth in the Asia-Pacific/Latin American markets. Fourth quarter sales for the company's SAFC business grew 4% on a currency-adjusted basis, as sales of its supply solutions, bioscience and high tech products again reflected stronger demand.
Commenting on the fourth quarter of 2010, president and CEO Rakesh Sachdev said, "The fourth quarter was marked with the tragic loss of our long-time colleague and CEO Jai Nagarkatti. He was a greatly respected leader to the entire Sigma-Aldrich organization and the scientific and business community. Jai left a great legacy and a solid team. We continue to keep his family in our thoughts and prayers.
"We are very pleased to have reported improved results in 2010's fourth quarter when compared to the same period last year, our best quarter in 2009. Our fourth quarter sales set a new quarterly record at $582 million. Earnings for the fourth quarter of 2010 continued the strong performance achieved in the earlier quarters of 2010, driving our diluted EPS for the year up by 11% on a reported basis and by 16% on an adjusted basis over the prior year level. The $3.12 of reported, diluted EPS for 2010 is another record, marking our 36th consecutive year of achieving increased EPS.
"Our fourth quarter sales showed positive organic growth in both our research and SAFC businesses. Our traditional research products in analytical chemistry, biology and traditional chemistry together with continued strong growth from our materials science products all made a positive contribution to our research sales growth. Our SAFC business continued its strong quarterly sales performance, achieving the best quarterly sales in 2010, with strong growth in sales of materials and precursors for semi-conductor and LED applications as well as in industrial cell culture media for biological drugs. SAFC also enjoyed steady growth in the sale of bulk chemical products for development and manufacturing."
With regard to the outlook for 2011, Sachdev continued, "We again expect organic sales growth in the mid-single digit range as we continue to drive toward our longer term organic growth goal of 7–8%. Market conditions are not likely to change much, so our plans are to continue to execute on our strategic initiatives to drive sales of our analytical, biology, chemistry and materials science products, to continue the high single-digit organic growth in SAFC, and to enhance our e-commerce and Asia-Pacific/Latin American market sales. All of these efforts are intended to once again boost sales growth above the underlying market rate. “
Additional highlights from global sales growth initiatives include worldwide sales of research products through the company's website, as a percentage of total research sales were 49% for the fourth quarter of 2010 and 48% for the full year of 2010, up from 45% for the full year 2009. Also, sales in international markets (Asia-Pacific and Latin America) continued to show strength with reported and organic growth of 21% and 16%, respectively, for the fourth quarter of 2010, and in the company's focus markets of China, India and Brazil, sales collectively grew 27% and 23% on a reported and organic basis, respectively, for the fourth quarter of 2010. And SAFC's booked orders for future delivery at Dec. 31, 2010 improved over the Sept. 30, 2010 level and were 10% above the Dec. 31, 2009 level.