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West Announces First Quarter 2009 Results
Date:4/30/2009

s were fractionally lower, while North American sales declined by $3.5 million.

Sales results varied significantly across product lines, but were hurt overall by the effects of customers' inventory reductions and regulatory issues. Sales of pharmaceutical packaging, including vial and IV closures and seals, were 2.3% lower in the quarter when measured at constant foreign exchange rates. Results for value-added products, including those incorporating Westar(R) processing, FluroTec(R) and Teflon(R) coatings, and specialty seals, were substantially unchanged. Sales of safety and administration systems and devices declined as a result of a customer-driven delay. Disposable device component sales were approximately 5.3% lower on a constant currency basis.

Gross profit in the current quarter was $59.8 million, $15.1 million lower than in the 2008 quarter, and gross margin declined 3.4 percentage points, to 32.7%. The decline in gross profit was attributed primarily to lower sales volume and to $4.4 million of adverse currency translation. The margin decline reflects lower capacity utilization and higher production costs, net of price increases, which included increased labor, utility and depreciation, as well as higher raw material costs, notably for oil-based materials. Consequently, the first quarter results do not include a measurable benefit from the recent decline in oil prices from the record levels of 2008 and, in aggregate, material costs reduced gross profit by $1.8 million when compared to the first quarter of 2008.

Pharmaceutical Systems SG&A costs increased by $2.4 million, net of $2.2 million of favorable currency translation effects. $1.5 million of increased compensation costs were due to hiring for information systems and other necessary technical and manufacturing support functions, and to annual salary increases and higher incentive compensation costs. Severance costs associated primarily with th
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SOURCE West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.
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