• Sales of CHF 63.9 million in 2015, reflecting a growth of 5.6% *
• Growth was driven by Analytical Services, there in particular by Biopharmaceutical Analysis, topped with growth in Analytical Technologies and Biological Analysis (Business Unit Confarma)
• Negative effect related to the Swiss franc appreciating vs. the Euro, and a tough comparative year for Ligands and Specialty Products as well as in smaller business areas were more than offset
• Successful expansion into the luxury segment of the cosmetics industry
• Increased uptake of innovative products and services: rapid sterility test, cell-based bioassays, a metal-free sample preparation laboratory for heavy metal and trace element analysis
Solvias today announced figures for 2015. Revenues rose to CHF 63.9 million, an increase of 5.6% over the previous year with a significant improvement in profitability. Excluding the impact from the Swiss franc to Euro exchange rate change, growth would have been 7%.
“Solvias continued on a very positive growth trajectory in 2015, despite the challenges posed by the strong Swiss franc and the overall economic situation,” said Dr. Karen J. Huebscher, Chief Executive Officer. “We continued to expand into new market segments such as cosmetics, and we extended our geographic footprint. In addition, we saw increased uptake of new products and services resulting from our innovative pipeline, which positions us well for the future. In 2015, Solvias also launched an intense operational excellence program to improve our efficiency and effectiveness and to reinforce our customer orientation across our entire organization.”
Analytical Services grew by 10.1% over prior year driven in particular by Biopharmaceutical Analysis (+19.8%). This was topped by the sales performance of Analytical Technologies with 38.6% growth and Confarma (Hombourg, France) with 17.2% growth in local currencies (+1.5% in CHF).
One of the highlights of 2015 was the expansion in the cosmetics industry. The French Business Unit Confarma acquired several large cosmetic companies as customers, especially in the luxury segment. There is significant upside potential for Solvias in this industry, driven by new legislation on Good Manufacturing Practices for cosmetics.
The Business Unit Ligands and Specialty Products saw a decline of 12% vs. prior year. The demand for certain ligands was lower than planned, as the ramp up in manufacturing for pharmaceutical blockbusters was shifted into 2016/2017 when an increase in turnover is expected again. Strong demand in Solvias’ synthesis capabilities mitigated this shift in timing only partly.
Geographic expansion continued in 2015. Thanks to a strengthened sales organization in the United States and a series of well-received road shows on the West Coast, Solvias raised its profile in the American market and acquired new customers in particular for its Analytical Services. In China, Solvias won new contracts for its catalysis technology from pharmaceutical companies and contract manufacturing organizations.
During 2015, the successful integration of Confarma AG resulted in the creation of a new Quality Control (QC) release department. High-quality, price-competitive QC services complement the cutting-edge science of Solvias and help to retain pharmaceutical customers throughout their entire value chain.
New products and services expected to gain increased traction
In 2015, Solvias began to reap the benefits of significant investments made in innovative technologies:
- Cell-based bioassays, used to test toxicity, safety and efficacy
- A rapid sterility test that reduces the time needed from 14 days to 5 days to check for contamination in batch release of products or devices completed the validation phase for the first customers, and new orders were placed from clients in several industries.
- In Extractables and Leachables, Solvias has developed significant scientific expertise as well as a proprietary database of over 6,000 compounds. Factors driving future demand for these tests are the shift in pharmaceutical manufacturing from steel vessels to disposable plastic containers and the interaction of the final product with primary packaging materials which may cause leaching of unwanted substances into the product and, finally, into the patient.
- Expansion of its portfolio with several new ligand family members