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Cambrex sales rise in Q3 despite 'challenging environment'

Published on 09/11/09 at 07:04am

Contract development and manufacturing services firm Cambrex saw its sales advance 2% to $58 million in the third quarter on the back of increased sales of an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) using its polymeric drug delivery technology.

Without the impact of the strong dollar sales would have risen 6%, said Cambrex. The company expects a tougher operating environment in the fourth quarter, however, and is predicting full-year sales somewhere between a decline of 2% and an increase of 2% over the $250 million booked in 2008.

The expected declines in the fourth quarter are due to volatility in the timing of orders, as well as softness in demand for preclinical and clinical phase projects, said Cambrex.

The contract manufacturing business saw some payback for Cambrex' recent investments in controlled substance production helped the firm offset lower sales in two long-term API supply contracts and reduced pricing for a number of generic APIs.

R&D spending on new APIs, controlled substances and drug delivery programmes rose marginally to $2 million. The company spent around $10 million on the construction of a mid-scale manufacturing facility in Karlskoga, Sweden, as well as upgrades to other facilities.

Operating profit rose 24% to $6.5 million thanks to "aggressive cost cutting and working capital management", said Cambrex chief executive Steven Klosk. Earlier this year Cambrex closed down an R&D facility in New Jersey, USA, and restructured its corporate headquarters.

Cambrex already has around 100 APIs in its portfolio and Klosk said the company is on track to introduce additional generic APIs next year.

It also continues "to develop new products in support of our controlled substances and drug delivery initiatives", he said.

For the first nine months of 2009 Cambrex's sales were $188 million, down a little under 4% over the same period of 2008, while operating profit rose 31% to $23 million.

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