For the full year, Sartorius reported sales across its businesses of €891m ($1.01bn), up 13% on 2013.
The firm's bioprocess solutions arm, which supplies products, technologies and services to the biomanufacturing industry, represented 70% of the total revenue and within this sector both sales and order intake were up over 18% on last year, to €616m and €653m respectively.
“Demand for single-use products was high across our entire product range,” Sartorius spokesperson Inga Stucke told Biopharma-Reporter.com. “It came from our fluid management products such as single-use bags, filters, and also from single-use fermenters.”
She added the firm expects growth for the Bioprocess Division to be in the range of 5-8% for the upcoming year, despite the high base from 2014, due in part to this year’s over-achievement and concerns about the strong Dollar against the Euro.
Regionally, European sales rose 6.6% but sales in North America – which represent just over a quarter of Sartorius’ total business - increased 32% year-on-year, and according to Stucke was driven by recent acquisitions and “a very healthy organic development.”
In November 2013, the company acquired TAP Biosystems for €33m, adding a range of development scale, multi-parallel fermentation systems to its small-scale cell culture offering, while five months later Sartorius bought New Oxford, Pennsylvania-based manufacturer of single-use components AllPure Technologies.
US fully embracing single-use
Single-use bioreactor manufacturer ATMI, now absorbed by Pall Corporation, told this publication in 2013 the US was slower in adopting disposable bioprocessing technologies than Europe and Asia. Sartorius too, has previously reported quarters of slower single-use growth in the US.
We therefore asked Stucke whether this is still the case or if Sartorius’s growth in the region indicated the region is now fully embracing such technologies.
“Our experience is that this discussion is a bit out-dated. In the past it has rather been a question of ‘customer types’ than of regions.”
She continued: “10 years ago, conservative companies e.g. some big pharma had been more reluctant towards single-use than, for example, Asian contract manufacturers that focused more strongly on production efficiency. But by now they are all adopting single-use for their new processes.”