Nycomed turns in steady first half

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Contrast agent developer Nycomed Amersham reported steady growth in revenues and net income for the first half of 1998 (end-June). The Buckinghamshire, U.K. company experienced healthy growth in several of its imaging product lines, while the company

Contrast agent developer Nycomed Amersham reported steady growth in revenues and net income for the first half of 1998 (end-June). The Buckinghamshire, U.K. company experienced healthy growth in several of its imaging product lines, while the company continued to reduce its reliance on the battered U.S. x-ray contrast media market.

For the period, Nycomed Amersham saw total sales increase to $1.09 billion, up 4% at constant exchange rates compared with last year. The company's profit before taxes and exchange rate differences was $186.4 million.

The company's Nycomed Amersham Imaging contrast agent division is in transition, trying to shift its reliance from the U.S. x-ray contrast market to radiopharmaceuticals and MRI agents. The division had worldwide revenues of $544.2 million, up 5% at constant exchange rates. The imaging group's operating profit grew 15% to $138.4 million, due to growth in radiopharmaceuticals and MRI sales, as well as cost savings related to the Nycomed/Amersham merger and other cost-cutting programs.

Price discounting caused U.S. x-ray contrast media sales to fall 14%, in line with the company's expectations. On the positive side, sales of MRI contrast agent Omniscan grew 31% to $37.6 million, while revenues from cardiac radiopharmaceutical Myoview jumped 37% to $32.2 million.

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