Lonza today announced its record-breaking 2017 full-year results, which included double-digit organic sales growth, organic CORE EBITDA and CORE EBIT growth well above sales growth and an attractive CORE RONOA of 28.3% for Lonza standalone.
Lonza exceeded its full-year 2017 guidance and demonstrated its strong organic growth potential. Having closed the acquisition of Capsugel on 5 July 2017, Lonza consolidated Capsugel for nearly six months in 2017.
Lonza reported sales of CHF 5.1 billion (Lonza standalone CHF 4.6 billion) for the full-year 2017, a 23.5% increase in reported currency compared with the same period in 2016 (Lonza standalone 10.4% sales growth in reported currency).
Margins for Lonza further improved, resulting in a record-breaking CORE EBITDA margin of 24.8% (23.9% Lonza standalone) and CORE EBIT margin of 18.8% (18.0% Lonza standalone) in reported currency.
Net debt as a consequence of the Capsugel acquisition ended 2017 at CHF 3.8 billion, which resulted in a net debt/CORE EBITDA (proforma) ratio of 2.65x – a leverage level significantly below the previously communicated threshold of up to 3x net debt/CORE EBITDA. This ratio was also supported by the strong operational free cash flow of CHF 619 million before acquisitions.
The outstanding organic sales growth and high margin improvement demonstrate Lonza's robust operational performance and commercial excellence. Both of Lonza's segments – Pharma&Biotech and Specialty Ingredients – contributed to the record-breaking full-year results with offerings along and beyond the healthcare continuum as growth drivers. With less than six months on Lonza's books, Capsugel has already shown its potential to add to Lonza's growth, especially as synergies are expected to materialize starting in 2018.
"With 120 years of company history, we are now stronger than ever as these outstanding results demonstrate," said Richard Ridinger, CEO of Lonza.
"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 optimizing all of our processes and structures to ensure profitable growth continues well into the future."
After a boost in performance and a large number of growth activities started in 2017, the focus for 2018 will be on thorough execution, profitability, efficiency and integration to make sure that all synergies can be captured. A number of new business teams are at the starting line and ready to capture those synergies. Lonza will also continue to invest in innovation.
By integrating, modernizing and optimizing Lonza's enabling functions – like IT, procurement and finance – Lonza is ensuring that the company structure is fit for further growth.