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UPDATE: Qiagen Anticipates 30 Percent Revenue Growth in 02; Lines Up New Launches

NEW YORK, Jan. 24 - Qiagen said on Thursday that it expects total revenue in 2002 to grow 30 percent to $345 million as it prepares a host of new products to launch and begins to streamline its operations in four countries.


Qiagen, of Venlo, The Netherlands, said in a conference call on Thursday morning that it also intends to cut R&D spending to 12 percent of total revenues from the 15 percent that analysts predict it spent in 2001.


The company will present its formal earning results for fiscal 2001 on Feb. 19.


Sales and marketing in 2002 will also contract to 22 percent from an expected 24 percent in 2001, and general and administartive costs will be reduced to 9 percent in the current year from a likely 11 percent one year ago.


Qiagen said it expects its consumables again to lead revenues, but they are expected to fall to 67 percent of total revenues in 2002 compared with the 71 percent analysts have predicted for fiscal 2001. Sales of instruments will increase in 2002 by 2 percent to 15 percent of total revenues, and synthetic DNA tools will grow 3 percent to 16 percent year-over-year, the company predicts.


The company said it plans to "streamline operations" in its facilities in Maryland, German, Japan, and Switzerland. It would not say whether this includes trimming staff or transplanting existing employees. Two weeks ago, Qiagen opened a 200,000-square-foot facility in Germantown, Md., where it will employ 100 R&D personnel and more than 200 manufacturing staff to develop and process DNA separation and purification products.


Qiagen has also outlined the kinds of companies it intends to acquire in the future without specifying if it has its sights set on something in particular. Leading the type of companies in which Qiagen is generally interested  include those that perform nucleic acid handling, separation, and purification, and that manufacture automation modules, it said.


It intends to release its SensiChip microarray reader system in the second quarter of 2002; it will launch its Luminex MT LiquiChip suspension array system in the second quarter and its HT LiquiChip system in the fourth quarter; it will release its RNeasy 96 its BioRobot 8000 instrumentation platform in the second quarter; and it will introduce a new BioRobot in the third quarter.


Separately on Thursday, Qiagen and lab robotics developer Zymark have launched a new high-throughput automated plasmid purification and sequencing reaction system. The setup, called the BioRobot HT plasmid system, integrates Qiagen's automated instrumentation technology with Zymark's robotic arm and its 96-well and 384-well pipetting systems.


According to the manufacturers, the new system generates enough plasmid DNA purifications and sequencing reactions to continuously supply seven 96-capillary sequencers, and the base model can handle about 6,000 samples a day.


Zymark, based in Hopkinton, Mass., produces machines with automated and robotic technology for lab use.


The system will be exhibited at the Association for Laboratory Automation's meeting on Jan. 27 in Palm Springs.

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