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Siemens' push to install Atellica systems may hurt full-year profits

by Thomas Dworetzky , Contributing Reporter
Siemens Healthineers AG's growth “clearly accelerated in the second quarter of the current fiscal year 2019,” the company said in a statement, but the push to speed installations of its Atellica Solution machines did put pressure on year-long profit margins.

Revenue for Siemens Healthineers was up 5.8 percent from the year-ago quarter and hit 3.5 billion euros, driven by the Imaging and Advanced Therapies segments, with EMEA and China seeing substantial growth.

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"The positive volume and profit development in the last quarter underscores the important progress we have made in achieving our full-year targets,” Bernd Montag, CEO of Siemens Healthineers AG, said in a statement as the company's Q2 results were announced. He also stressed that, “the Imaging and Advanced Therapies businesses in particular have again demonstrated their leading global positions. The measures taken to ensure a successful market launch of our laboratory diagnostics platform Atellica Solution have shown an early impact in the second quarter.”

The Imaging segment saw revenues rising to 2.1 billion euros in the quarter, a seven percent increase from the year-ago quarter. “Molecular Imaging, Computed Tomography and X-Ray Products showed a strong development,” added the company, advising that, “the Imaging segment’s adjusted profit margin rose to 21 percent, mainly due to higher revenue and cost savings. Profitability thus remained within the midterm target range of 20 to 22 percent.”

The Diagnostics segment’s adjusted profit margin hit 11.8 percent — but was “negatively impacted by currency effects and ramp-up costs for Atellica Solution,” according to the statement. Ramp up included the shipping of more than 410 Atellica Solution analyzers the quarter ended March 31, making a total of more than 780 shipped in the first six months.

The Advanced Therapies segment set a record with revenues of 391 euros in Q2, up about nine percent from the year-ago quarter. And adjusted profit margin hit 19.6 percent, thanks to a boost in revenue and cost-savings.

The speed of the ramp-up will bring down the divisions profits for the year, but the push is hoped to help the company take market share from leader Roche, according to Reuters.

Market share gains occurred in all imaging businesses, noted Montag, according to Reuters.

The company is holding to its fiscal 2019 outlook, anticipating revenue growth to be in the four-to-five percent range over 2018, with adjusted profit margin of 17.5 to 18.5 percent and earnings forecast to hit 20 to 30 percent over FY 2018.
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