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Sigma's Q1 Revenues Hit by Negative Currency Effects

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Sigma-Aldrich today reported a 9 percent drop in revenues for the three months ended March 31, while net income was flat year-over-year.

The company's first-quarter sales fell to $519 million from $570 million in the first quarter of 2008. Excluding a 10 percent currency impact, first-quarter sales grew organically by 1 percent, Sigma said.

The company said that organic sales for its Research business grew by more than 3 percent, with individual business unit growth ranging from 2 percent to 7 percent. This increase was due to "moderate to strong growth" in sales in Europe, Canada, Asia Pacific, and Latin America.

Organic sales for the company's Specialty Fine Chemicals business fell 5 percent in the quarter. While sales to US customers were "stable," this was offset by declines in sales to custom pharmaceutical and high-tech customers in international markets, Sigma said.

First-quarter R&D spending was flat at $15.7 million, compared to $15.9 million in the prior-year period, while sales, general, and administrative expenses decreased 14 percent to $127.2 million from $147.7 million year-over-year.

Sigma's first-quarter net income remained flat at $84.4 million compared to $84.5 million in the comparable period of 2008. First-quarter diluted earnings per share increased 6 percent to $0.68 from $0.64 in the first quarter of 2008.

The company reaffirmed its previous full-year 2009 organic sales forecast of single-digit growth, with an approximate 8 percent reduction from currency effects if exchange rates remain at current levels.

President and CEO Jai Nagarkatti said in a statement that the firm is "pleased" with the quarterly results amid current market conditions.

"We fully believe that the life science and high technology markets we serve will rebound and that we can take market share with the new activities we have added for 2009 through 2011 to continue the differentiation that has been key to our success," Nagarkatti said.

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