Sigma-Aldrich reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2011. For the fourth quarter, reported sales increased 5% over the fourth quarter in 2010 to $610 million, and sales grew organically by 3%, with Research and Fine Chemicals sales and SAFC sales growing organically by 1% and 7%, respectively. Additionally, acquisitions contributed 2% to sales growth, and net income was $108 million, up 15% from fourth quarter 2010. Reported diluted EPS for the fourth quarter 2011 was $0.89, up 17% from fourth quarter 2010, and excluding a one-time tax item in 2011, adjusted EPS was $0.91.
For the full year 2011, sales grew 10% versus full year 2010 to $2.5 billion. Sales grew organically by 5% with Research and SAFC contributing 3% and 9%, respectively, to organic growth. Net income was $457 million, up 19% from 2010, and reported diluted EPS was $3.72, up 19% from 2010. Excluding restructuring, diluted adjusted EPS was $3.76, up 14% over the prior year.
Commenting on 2011 performance, Sigma-Aldrich president and CEO Rakesh Sachdev said, "Our overall performance for 2011 resulted in another record year for Sigma-Aldrich in sales and earnings per share (EPS) as we delivered EPS growth for our 37th consecutive year. The research business in the U.S. was impacted by challenging market conditions and funding uncertainties in the early weeks of the fourth quarter. These conditions reduced our Q4 growth rates in research in the U.S. below those realized in the first three quarters of the year. We continued to invest a substantial amount of capital to drive growth in our focus markets of China, India and Brazil where we achieved organic sales growth of 17%. Including our acquisition of Vetec, the sales growth was 29% in these countries. We invested more than $73 million in these countries in 2011.
“SAFC had its strongest quarter of the year in Q4 with sales of $185 million, a 7% organic gain. We are pleased with SAFC's strong results with full year organic sales growth of 9% in 2011 compared to 2010. We continued to see strong growth from the Hitech business which performed well throughout the year. The custom pharmaceutical business had low double digit growth in Q4 to end the year stronger than it has for several years. The industrial media business sales for the quarter were equal to Q4 2010 and reflected the impact of timing of customer purchases.
“For 2012, we expect to grow sales organically in the mid single digit range consistent with our 2011 performance. In addition, the acquisition of BioReliance will add roughly 5% to Sigma-Aldrich's sales growth in 2012. And, our acquisition pipeline remains robust. Our long-term objective remains to achieve above market rate organic sales growth and enhance that through contributions from technology platforms and strategic acquisitions. Our diluted EPS is expected to increase to a range of$3.90 to $4.05 despite a less favorable currency environment and a higher tax rate. We will approach 2012 with the same passion and energy that drove success in the past. Our plan to continue prudent control on costs without sacrificing commitment to longer term growth initiatives should help in mitigating market uncertainties,” he concluded.