August 10, 2009 / 8:08 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Qiagen Q2 profit beats forecasts on test sales

* Q2 adj net income $48.3 mln, up 19 pct

* Lifts lower end of sales, profit guidance ranges

* Benefits from sales of tests for swine-flu, HP virus (Adds details, background)

FRANKFURT, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Germany’s Qiagen QGEN.DE QGEN.O posted a 19 percent gain in second-quarter adjusted net earnings, better than expected, as more doctors used its testing kits for the cervical-cancer virus.

The group also lifted the lower end of its sales and profit guidance ranges, also helped by a surge in demand for swine-flu tests, it said on Monday.

In addition, Qiagen benefited from higher demand for tests that help pinpoint those bowel-cancer patients who are most likely to benefit from Merck KGaA’s (MRCG.DE) anti-tumor drug Erbitux or from Amgen’s (AMGN.O) Vectibix.

“There has been a breakthrough in the acceptance of personalised medicine,” Chief Executive Officer Peer Schatz told Reuters. “The pharmaceutical industry is changing dramatically and it needs our tests to deal with these changes.”

Quarterly net profit excluding one-off charges related to recent acquisitions, rose to $48.3 million, better than the $44 million average estimate in a Reuters poll of 10 analysts.

Qiagen would remain the world’s largest supplier of tests for the human papilloma virus (HPV) which can cause cervical cancer, with a targeted global market share of at least 70 percent in the next five years, Schatz said.

The forecast includes the scenario of more rival products coming into the market, he said.

U.S. diagnostics company Hologic Inc (HOLX.O) in March won health regulators’ approval for two HPV tests.

Qiagen — listed in the Netherlands but with its main operations in Germany — lifted the lower limit of its full-year earnings goal and now said it expects adjusted net income per share between 90 cents and 94 cents compared to the previous range of 88-94 cents.

It predicted 2009 sales would come in between $930 and $970 million, lifting the lower limit from $920 million previously after second-quarter sales rose a better-than-expected 10 percent to $240.2 million. (Reporting by Ludwig Burger)

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