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Millipore's Q4 Revenues Slip on Currency Translation

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Millipore reported after the close of the market on Thursday that its fourth-quarter revenues declined 2 percent, with a 4 percent negative affect from currency translation.

The Billerica, Mass.-based firm brought in revenues of $396.8 million for the three-month period ended Dec. 31, compared to revenues of $405.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2007. The results came in below analysts' average estimate of $401.4 million for the quarter.

Millipore's Bioprocess division had revenues of $213.5 million for the quarter, down 6 percent from revenues of $226.8 million the year before. Its Bioscience division had revenues of $183.3 million, up 3 percent from $178.4 million for Q4 2007. Excluding the effect of currency translation, the Bioprocess division's sales were down 2 percent while the Bioscience division was up 7 percent.

"Our Bioscience division delivered a strong fourth quarter, continuing the pattern of consistent, profitable growth it has exhibited over the past four years,” said Millipore Chairman and CEO Martin Madaus in a statement. "This performance enabled us to offset the revenue decline we experienced in our Bioprocess division and generate solid earnings growth and outstanding cash flow performance in 2008."

Madaus added during the firm's conference call last night, "After seeing a significant decline in the first half of the year, we started to see our Bioprocess division stabilize in the second half of 2008 with revenue dynamics at some of our large key accounts improved. We believe that the division will return to organic growth beginning in the first quarter of 2009."

Millipore posted a profit of $33.3 million, or $.60 per share, for the quarter, compared to a profit of $45.1 million, or $.81 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2007. The decline in profit was due partially to increased SG&A spending, which rose around 8 percent to $132.8 million from $122.7 million year over year. The firm's R&D expenses for the period declined 4 percent to $26 million from $27.1 million.

For full-year 2008, Millipore reported revenues of $1.6 million, up 5 percent from $1.53 in 2007. The Bioprocess division's sales were nearly flat year over year at $880.8 million versus $878.5 million in 2007, while sales for the Bioscience division rose 10 percent to $721.3 million from $653.1 million.

Millipore's profit for the year increased 7 percent to $145.8 million, or $2.62 per share, from $136.5 million, or $2.48 per share.

The firm's SG&A spending for the year rose 6 percent to $516.7 million from $486.7 million, and its R&D expenses dropped 4 percent to $102.6 million from $107 million.

Millipore finished the year with $115.5 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Madaus said that he expects the firm to generate "solid results" in 2009. "One of our highest priorities will be to accelerate our new product innovation through internal R&D, partnerships, and strategic acquisitions," he said. "The recent announcement of our acquisition of Guava Technologies is a good example of the attractive opportunities that exist to expand our product portfolio into fast growing market segments."

Millipore said earlier this week that it will acquire Guava for $22.6 million.

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