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Lonza FY2017 profit more than doubled on sales growth, higher margins

STRONG organic sales growth and higher margins lifted results for Lonza Group for fiscal 2017.

Net profit surged 141.9 per cent to 728 million Swiss francs (S$1 billion) from the year-ago period, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Wednesday afternoon. Earnings per share rose to 10.61 francs from 5.28 francs for the previous year.

"At the Annual General Meeting, the Board of Directors will propose Board changes and a stable dividend for shareholders of 2.75 Swiss francs per share for 2017, despite a 40.7 per cent increase in share capital," Lonza said.

For the 12 months ended Dec 31, revenue jumped 23.5 per cent to 5.1 billion francs from the preceding year.

The rise in revenue was due mainly to the increased margins for the company in fiscal 2017, which resulted in "record-breaking" core earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of 24.8 per cent and core Ebit margin of 18.8 per cent, it said.

Lonza is a Swiss multinational, chemicals and biotechnology company listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange. It has a secondary listing on the Singapore Exchange.

Having closed the acquisition of Capsugel - a company that manufactures and sells drug capsules - on July 5, 2017, Lonza has included nearly six months of Capsugel earnings.

Richard Ridinger, chief executive officer of Lonza said: "With 120 years of company history, we are now stronger than ever as these outstanding results demonstrate.

"Following the acquisition of Capsugel, we have successfully achieved our goals and even over-delivered."

He added: "With such a rapid step-up in size - of our sales, employees and entities - we are now optimising all of our processes and structures to ensure profitable growth continues well into the future."

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