Eckert & Ziegler posts Q1 downturn

A drop in radiation therapy sales led to disappointing Q1 results for Eckert & Ziegler, the company reported today.

Overall sales in the Eckert & Ziegler Group declined by 9% to 26.5 million euros ($34.8 million U.S.) in the first quarter of 2013 (end-April 30), compared with the same quarter in 2012, the company said.

Radiation therapy showed a substantial 24% fall in sales, to 5.5 million euros ($7.2 million U.S.) for the segment, due to a price collapse in prostate implants, leading to reduced revenues despite higher volumes, the company said, as well as delays in deliveries of radiation devices and eye applicators.

Sales at Eckert & Ziegler Isotope Products, the firm's largest business segment, declined by 3% to 13.6 million euros ($17.8 million U.S.), while earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) in that segment fell 8% compared with the same quarter in 2012, owing to a drop in gross margins, Eckert & Ziegler said.

Radiopharmaceuticals maintained the sales volumes of the same quarter last year at 6.3 million euros ($8.3 million U.S.), as sales of PET tracers dropped by 300,000 euros ($393,000 U.S.), and sales of devices for the production of radiopharmaceuticals increased. However, lower profit margins in the device section spurred a fall in EBIT of 400,000 euros ($524,000 U.S.) to 100,000 euros ($131,000 U.S.) for the quarter.

Company-wide EBIT fell 51% to 2.4 million euros ($3.15 million U.S.), in results the company characterized as modest.

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