• Sales increased by 8 percent, to SEK 103.9 (96.3) million. Adjusted for exchange-rate effects the increase was 11 percent. During the fourth quarter sales amounted to SEK 24.6 (24.0) million, corresponding to an increase of 3 percent. Adjusted for exchange-rate effects the increase was 6 percent.
• Gross income increased by 21 percent to SEK 74.4 (61.6) million and thereby the gross margin improved to 72 percent (64). Gross income for the fourth quarter increased by 12 percent to SEK 17.4 (15.6) million and the gross margin was 71 (65) percent.
• Operating income amounted to SEK 13.0 (41.9) million for the whole year 2004 and to SEK 1.6 (3.0) million for the fourth quarter. For comparable business activities operating income for the whole year 2003 amounted to SEK 6.2 million (adjusted for a capital gain of SEK 42.3 million and other items attributable to divested business, SEK -6.6 million), which means an improvement of 110 percent for 2004.
• Net income for the Group was SEK 11.9 (44.7) million, of which SEK 0.1 million (5.0) was for the fourth quarter.
• Earnings per share amounted to SEK 0.65 (2.43, excluding divested business 0.37).
• The equity/assets ratio increased to 81 (78) percent.
• The Board proposes that no dividend be paid for the financial year 2004.
Magnus Nilsson, CEO, comments:
“After having consolidated company finances and focused on the core business during 2003, Vitrolife has in 2004 achieved a year in which profitability has increased at the same time as a great deal of effort has been put into the building up of a growth platform which will enable further expansion of sales and market shares during the years to come. Streamlining within production and market drives for high margin products have also achieved a further improvement of the gross margin.
The rapid increase in sales within the core business during 2003 was made possible by the launch of an entirely new series of products within Fertility and by making use of the spare production capacity that a reduction of the product range gave in the Kungsbacka factory. In order to secure growth in the long-term as well, possible bottlenecks have been identified and most of these have been attended to during 2004. The remaining investments in this area will be completed during the first six months of 2005.
In the sales region Europe/Middle East, Vitrolife increased its market share in all important markets within the fertility area (including Germany), but as the total number of treatments was reduced in the countries where reduced reimbursement levels (Germany, Hungary) or new restrictive legislation (Italy) were introduced, the increase in sales in the region was limited. In the region of America the development of sales was good in local currency but the decline of the dollar meant that the increase was less when translated to Swedish kronor. In the region Rest of the world the increase in sales was very good.
The work on getting the infrastructure in Denver and Kungsbacka ready will be completed during the first half of 2005, after which this type of investment need will decrease considerably. These two very modern facilities will act both as optimized production centres for different types of products and as distribution and sales hubs within their respective region. Equipped with a strengthened organization with regards to infrastructure, products and skilled employees, Vitrolife will be able to direct its energies during 2005 towards product development and marketing, above all within the area of fertility. The aim and priority are increased growth, both in market shares and sales, with continued profitability.”
Kungsbacka, Sweden, February 21, 2005
Queries should be addressed to:
Magnus Nilsson, CEO, phone +46(0)31 721 80 00 or +46(0)708 22 80 61.
Anna Ahlberg, CFO and responsible for IR, phone +46(0)31 721 80 13 or +46(0)708 22 80 13.