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Lonza posts H1 profit rise of 78% to 405m Swiss francs

LONZA Group's first-half net profit rose 78.4 per cent to 405 million Swiss francs (S$556 million) from a year ago on strong organic sales growth and improved margins, the group reported on Wednesday afternoon.

Earnings per share rose to 5.39 francs from 3.68 francs for the corresponding half of the previous year.

For the six months ended June 30, revenue increased 33.3 per cent to 3.08 billion francs from 2.3 billion francs in H1 2017.

Lonza's Pharma and Biotech segment contributed significantly to the group's strong performance with 14.7 per cent organic sales growth and improved margins, including a core earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) margin of 26 per cent, Lonza 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.

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"The strong organic sales growth and margin improvements - particularly in our businesses along the healthcare continuum - helped us achieve a positive half-year 2018 result, which is why we are updating our outlook for the full year," said Lonza chief executive Richard Ridinger.

Lonza upgraded its sales outlook for the full year 2018 to mid to high single-digit growth on a comparable basis, with full-year 2018 core Ebitda margin expected to be comparable to first half 2018's 26 per cent.

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