Lonza 2009 net income falls 62% to SwFr159m amid lower demand

28 January 2010 10:00  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Lonza posted a 62% year-on-year drop in its 2009 net income, down to Swiss francs (Swfr) 159m ($151m, €108m), due to a weaker business environment and restructuring charges, the Swiss fine chemicals and drugs maker said on Thursday.

Lonza did not give details of its fourth-quarter performance.

Demand was lower across all businesses in 2009, Lonza said, and reflected a reduction in orders for life-science ingredients and large-scale biopharmaceutical projects in custom manufacturing.

Full-year sales fell 8.4% year on year to Swfr2.69bn, Lonza said. The company's earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) before special charges were down 13.8% from 2008 at Swfr380m, it said.

Despite the more volatile environment, Lonza said it had produced stable margins of 24.5% in its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) before special charges.

A Swfr60m-80m cost-reduction programme that will result in the loss of 450 jobs triggered a special charge in the accounts of SwFr141m. Lonza said its debt gearing in 2009 had been reduced to 49%, down from 76% in 2008.

In its outlook, the company said the re-engineering project would result in significant generation of free operational cash flow in 2010.

($1 = Swfr1.05/€1 = Swfr1.47)

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By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214



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