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Sigma-Alrich Grows in Q1 2011

Posted: April 27, 2011

Sigma-Aldrich (St. Louis, Missouri) reported its first quarter of 2011 financials, noting sales for the quarter at $632 million, a rise of 10% from the first quarter of 2010. Excluding changes in foreign currency exchange rates and acquisitions that increased overall sales by 2% and 1%, respectively, first quarter organic sales growth was 7%. Additionally, first quarter sales for the company's research business grew organically by 4%, with organic sales growth in the Asia-Pacific, Latin American and European markets of 7% and 4%, respectively. Also, first quarter sales for the company's fine chemicals, or SAFC, business grew 16% on a currency-adjusted basis, as sales of its Supply Solutions, Bioscience and Hitech products again reflected stronger demand.

Other highlights from global sales growth initiatives include increased sales of research products through the company’s website, reaching 50% in the first quarter of 2011. In the fourth quarter of 2010, those sales were 49%, and for the full year 2010, 48%.

Also, sales in international markets such as Asia-Pacific and Latin America continued to show strength with reported and organic growth of 18% and 11%, respectively, in the first quarter of 2011. In the focus markets of China, India and Brazil, sales collectively grew 25% and 21% on a reported and organic basis, respectively, for the first quarter of 2011, and SAFC's booked orders for future delivery at March 31, 2011 reached a record level and were 5% above the March 31, 2010 level.

Commenting on the company’s first quarter of 2011 performance, president and CEO Rakesh Sachdev said, "Our reported sales of $632 million and diluted EPS of $0.97 for the first quarter of 2011 were the best reported quarterly results in our history. We are very pleased with this strong performance as we begin 2011. Our SAFC sales grew by 16% on an organic basis driven by continued strong demand for materials and precursors for semi-conductor and LED applications and for industrial cell culture media used for producing biological drugs. Our research initiatives in analytical chemistry, biology, traditional chemistry and materials science, coupled with a 2% acquisition benefit to expand our analytical chemistry offering, helped achieve currency adjusted growth of 6% in our research business.

Sachdev continued, "We've reaffirmed our organic sales growth expectation for 2011 of mid single-digit percentage growth. This organic growth, along with benefits from currency and acquisitions are expected to drive overall growth to low double digits. We've also raised our diluted adjusted EPS outlook for 2011 to a new range of $3.60 to $3.75 as a result of stronger operational performance in the first quarter and more favorable foreign currency exchange rates. Our commitment to continuous improvement is expected to ensure that we deliver flawless execution of our strategic initiatives to drive sales of our analytical chemistry, biology, traditional chemistry and materials science products, to deliver high single-digit organic growth in SAFC for the full year and to enhance our e-commerce and Asia-Pacific and Latin American market sales. All of these efforts are intended to boost sales growth above the underlying market rate."