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Reacting to Slowed Growth, Bruker Lays Off 45 Staff Across the Board in US, Germany

This article has been updated from a previous version to include details and company comment.

 

NEW YORK, July 8 - Bruker Daltonics said today that "on-going uncertain economic conditions" has forced it to lay off roughly 10 percent of its workforce in the United States and Germany.

 

"As demand in several customer segments is experiencing slower growth, we are taking decisive action to reduce our cost structure," said Frank Laukien, president and CEO. "Once fully implemented, we expect cost savings of about $2.5 million next year."

Bruker employs 477 people worldwide and the reductions will affect between 40 and 45 of its staff in the United States and Germany, according to company spokesman John Hulburt. He added that all of Bruker's life-sciences divisions were equally affected and that the across-the-board lay offs represented between one and two people per department.

 

Calling the move "aggressive," Bruker said the lay offs come at a time when the company faces slowed bookings among pharma, biotech, and chemical customers. Bruker, which posted 22-percent growth in second-quarter year-over-year bookings, also blamed the decrease on the departure of distributor companies like Variagenics and Perkin-Elmer.

 

However, Bruker said booking have grown among universities, medical schools, governments, and nonprofit groups, and the company said it expects "strategic sales" to grow for the rest of the year through Agilent and Sequenom.

Though Bruker's second-quarter 22-percent booking-growth rate is not significantly below the company's traditional growth, which regularly tops 25 percent per quarter, Hulburt said the slowdown that has hit the broader biopharma sector in recent months has finally caught up to the tool giant.

 

"Because the economy cannot get out of its funk we have started to feel the slump," he said.

 

Commenting on the strong growth among academic, public-sector, and nonprofit customers, Hulburt said those groups have increased their spending on research as companies have resorted to wait out the storm and slow their consumption in order to conserve cash.

 

Bruker will release its formal second-quarter earnings on Aug.7 and hold an investor conference call the following day, Hulburt said.

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