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Sigma-Aldrich Corp.'s first-quarter net income rose 4.3% although most of the sales growth in its SAFC commercial unit was led by the life science products and services business.
For the quarter ended March 31, Sigma-Aldrich said its total net income rose to $122 million from $117 million a year ago. Net sales rose to $675 million from $665 million a year earlier.
At the beginning of 2013, the company realigned its business unit structure into three units: research, applied and SAFC commercial (which includes its flavors and fragrances product group). By segment, SAFC commercial's first-quarter total sales rose to $155 million from $140 million a year ago. Sales grew organically by 3% compared to the same period last year.
SAFC commercial's organic growth was led by strong sales within its life science products and services business, most notably its custom pharmaceutical manufacturing and industrial cell culture media products. The company said this growth was partially offset by lower sales in its Hitech electronics business.
Although uncertainties in the U.S. and Europe around the macroeconomic environment have impacted overall research funding, Sigma-Aldrich left its 2013 outlook unchanged and said it plans to boost sales growth as well as increase its market presence through strategic acquisitions. It expects overall organic sales growth in the low-to-mid single digit range and adjusted diluted per-share earnings, excluding any restructuring or other special charges, in the range of $4.10 to $4.20.