Roche Diagnostics leaps 4% in 2012, snags 20% market share

Roche saw its professional diagnostics unit grow 10% to $5.6 billion.--courtesy of Roche

Roche's ($RHHBY) ongoing commitment to diagnostics keeps paying off, and the company posted 4% sales growth from its testing business in 2012, pulling in $11.2 billion and a 20% share of the global diagnostics market, Roche said.

On the year, Roche saw its professional diagnostics unit grow 10% to $5.6 billion, while its up-and-coming molecular business jumped 7% to $1.3 billion. Within professional diagnostics, Roche's immunoassay business swelled 15% on the strength of new product launches on its Cobas platform.

However, Roche remains vexed by its diabetes operation, which declined 3% to $2.8 billion. Roche blames the annual drop on European reimbursement cuts for glucose monitors and intensified pricing pressures around the globe. But the company is being proactive about turning the unit around, planning to slash 100 jobs and restructure its diabetes operations, putting blood glucose test development at its Indianapolis headquarters and moving insulin pump R&D to Germany.

Looking forward, Roche says it plans to further integrate its diagnostics and pharma arms, pursuing more than 200 biomarker and companion diagnostics projects internally. CEO Severin Schwan, himself a veteran of the diagnostics unit, has said more than 60% of Roche's pipeline treatments will be paired with companion diagnostics.

And Roche is still keeping its eyes peeled for some M&A that will boost its gene sequencing know-how and advance its personalized medicine efforts, with CFO Alan Hippe saying last month that the Swiss giant is looking at deals between $6 billion and $7 billion. That would apparently exclude Illumina ($ILMN), though, as Roche Chairman Franz Humer has said the rumored $8.1 billion deal for that company "is definitively off the table."

- read Roche's statement
- check out the full results (pdf)

Special Report: 2012's Top 10 Diagnostics Companies

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