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Siemens Healthineers wants to grow with corona antigen tests | Free Press

Erlangen (dpa) – Medical technology group Siemens Healthineers wants to achieve sales of at least 100 million euros in the next fiscal year 2020/21 with corona antigen tests alone.

This was announced by CFO Jochen Schmitz on Monday when the figures for the 2019/2020 financial year were presented. “That can be significantly more, depending on demand,” Schmitz said. Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said his country wants to make extensive use of rapid tests, which should provide widely reliable results within 15 minutes. Similar signals are coming from Slovakia and other countries.

Siemens Healthineers has developed a rapid antigen test for coronavirus and is in the process of bringing it to market. The Erlangen-based company had previously launched PCR tests and antibody tests and, according to its own statements, had delivered more than double-digit millions. However, antibody tests would only meet very wavering demand, Schmitz said. Expect that to change after the introduction of a vaccine.

The quick test sale is intended to help return sales to a general growth curve. After a dent in the last financial year, revenue is expected to increase by 5 to 8 percent on a comparable basis. In 2019/20, sales were almost stable at € 14.5 billion, also due to the generally more difficult business environment during the pandemic, especially in the Americas. The end result was that Siemens Healthineers earned 428 million euros in 2019/20, less than in the previous year, when it still had 502 million euros.

The leadership of CEO Bernd Montag assumes that the environment for routine exam testing will continue to improve and the performance of investments in the US will rebound beginning in January 2021. Routine laboratory testing for diseases other than the crown had declined last year.

Healthineers forecasts adjusted earnings per share in the current financial year (end of September) in a range of EUR 1.58 to EUR 1.72, after a comparable EUR 1.61 in the prior year. The acquisition of the American cancer specialist Varian is not included in the forecast. Healthineers plans to close the $ 16.4 billion acquisition announced in the summer, the largest transaction in the company’s history, in the first half of 2021. To do this, the group raised its first capital increase of around 2.7 billion euros in September. Another could follow in the next year.

Meanwhile, the fourth quarter showed improvements compared to the previous quarter, when the diagnostics business in particular suffered significantly from lower test volumes for routine exams in relation to the corona pandemic. However, sales and profits were below the previous year due to losses caused by Covid-19. However, Chef Montag was satisfied. Stick to medium-term goals.

In the last quarter of the financial year, sales fell 6.4 percent to 3.88 billion euros. In a comparable way, the minus was 2 percent. Currency effects, as well as purchases and sales, are discarded. The diagnostics business rebounded significantly compared to the prior quarter but was still slightly in the red with a comparable decrease in sales of one percent. Margins were under pressure. The imaging business was also able to improve compared to the prior quarter, but also remained below the prior year.

Siemens Healthineers went public in 2018, practically parting ways with parent company Siemens. However, Siemens still owns 79 percent of Healthineers shares.