Lonza boasts of ‘best first half’ of its history

After a strong 6 months that has seen the best growth spurt in its history, Lonza ($LONN) is raising its guidance for the rest of the year.

Sales for the Swiss company grew by 4.7% at CER to 2.01 billion Swiss francs ($2.04 billion) with its CORE EBIT growth of up 17.7% to 312 million Swiss francs.

Much of this growth stemmed from its pharmaceuticals and biotech unit which the company said “substantially increased sales and CORE results” compared with the same period last year.

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Its strong showing in the first half was mainly driven by the increased operational performance of the segment, a strong momentum in the mammalian business, a generally solid market demand and ongoing cost discipline, according to the company.

All biological technologies also showed positive growth, with Lonza saying that the outsourcing trend “is persisting.”

Richard Ridinger, CEO of Lonza, said: “Our Pharma and Biotech segment delivered outstanding operational performance across all of our assets. We are harvesting the fruits of our diligence in implementing productivity programs, as well as the stringent portfolio management activities in Specialty Ingredients and the favorable market environment.”

Looking ahead, Lonza said in a statement that it will be raising its guidance for CORE EBIT growth and now expects a double-digit improvement in CORE EBIT for the full year of 2016.

There was still no news however on the rumors regarding Lonza’s possible bid for Catalent ($CTLT), the U.S.-based drug developer. Reuters reported back in April that a deal may be on the cards, but both companies are keeping their hand close to their chests.

Should a merger go through this would add to the already large M&A activity coming from Lonza in its recent history, having bought a number of smaller bioscience companies in the U.S. Back in 2011, Lonza also shelled out $1.4 billion for chemical maker Arch Chemicals.

Lonza’s shares were up 9.7% today on the news.

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