ROUNDUP/Less Corona business: Qiagen expects further losses due to 2023

VENLO (dpa-AFX) – After a decline in sales and earnings last year, the laboratory service provider QIAGEN expects further losses in 2023. The management of the Dax group (DAX 40) is preparing for a “significant decline in sales of Covid 19 products compared to 2022”, as Qiagen announced late Tuesday evening after the US stock market closed. While the company says its rest of the business is expected to grow at a double-digit rate this year at constant exchange rates, that’s not enough to compensate.

Qiagen shares rose moderately in after-hours trading. The statements did not come as a complete surprise, because the management had been referring to the waning Corona tailwind for some time. There was therefore already a consensus among analysts that 2023 would be a weaker year for Qiagen. This is also thriving for other former Corona winners in the industry: Europe’s largest laboratory chain SYNLAB, for example, only lowered its targets for 2023 at the beginning of the week due to lower demand and falling prices for Covid tests.

In the final quarter of 2022, the slump in sales of corona products at Qiagen accelerated. For the year as a whole, the group earned $470 million in this area, around a third less than in 2021. Despite a flourishing basic business, sales across the group fell by five percent to $2.14 billion (around EUR 1.99 billion). After two strong Corona years, group revenue fell again for the first time. However, exchange rate effects also had a negative impact. At constant currencies, sales for the year were $2.26 billion. In 2023, Qiagen now expects currency-adjusted sales of at least 2.05 billion US dollars (1.90 billion euros).

Overall, profits fell 17 percent last year to $423 million. Adjusted earnings per share fell 10 percent to $2.38. Excluding currency effects, the result was $2.46 – which the group exceeded its own expectations. For 2023, Qiagen is now targeting at least $2.10 for this indicator – with the first quarter likely to be even more significantly below the previous year’s level.

Qiagen had increased its goals several times last year because the Covid products were even better than initially thought, at least until the end of September. In addition, the group was able to increase its core business, on whose growth Qiagen intends to continue to concentrate. “We are particularly satisfied with the progress made by our five growth drivers,” said company boss Thierry Bernard according to the announcement. The diagnostics specialist also includes its tuberculosis test Quantiferon, which sold far better last year than it did in 2021. However, sales of some diagnostic devices fell – but the pandemic had brought about a sales boom the year before.

The Qiagen management wants to explain further details about 2022 in conferences with journalists and analysts on Wednesday. The company is expected to comment further on the outlook for 2023 at that time. According to circles, the group is also currently looking for an investor for its bioinformatics business in order to further advance this. The Bloomberg news agency recently reported, citing those informed, that Qiagen is considering selling a minority stake in the division that develops software for analyzing biological and medical data./tav/ngu/he

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