Lonza posts full 2022 results as it looks to buy back $2B+ in shares
Swiss contract manufacturer Lonza recorded growth in its latest results posted for 2022, but it expects some slowdown for Covid sales.
According to the manufacturer on Wednesday, it reported sales of CHF 6.2 billion ($6.7 billion), a growth in sales of 15%. The financial boost was a result of a combination of its general business performance and a “Covid-related sales peak” last year, which gave a lift to its sales and margin.
A Lonza spokesperson said in an email to Endpoints News that the sales growth in 2022 is due to operating in an “attractive industry.” The manufacturer managed to rope in 115 new customers and around 375 new clinical and commercial programs, ultimately bringing its number of customers to 790.
For this year, Lonza will be engaging in a share buyback program of up to CHF 2 billion ($2.2 billion). According to the Lonza spokesperson, the buyback is intended to return “excess capital” back to shareholders. The buyback is expected to start sometime in the first half of this year and be completed in 2025.
“[The buyback] does not impact our capability to deliver on our capital allocation, which focuses on investment in organic growth, supported by bolt-on acquisitions when relevant opportunities arise,” the spokesperson’s email said.
Lonza’s outlook for the rest of the year includes a “high single-digit” sales growth as it expects a reduction in Covid-related sales growth, following a “peak” last year.
“Looking to 2023, we will continue to grow the company while building our customer pipeline and driving operational excellence. We will remain focused on executing our growth plans and pursuing new projects. We are also pleased to confirm our Mid-Term Guidance 2024, supported by new capacity coming online and robust industry fundamentals,” said Lonza CEO Pierre-Alain Ruffieux in a statement.
While the contract manufacturer managed to expand its physical footprint last year, the spokesperson did not give Endpoints any details for any new projects at this time. Lonza’s expansion in the US included capping off an expansion in Bend, OR, called the Early Phase Clinical Manufacturing facility. Lonza added the new facility to its small molecules site that also serves as its center of excellence for bioavailability enhancement and inhaled delivery for its small molecules business unit. The new, multimillion-dollar, 13,000-square-foot facility includes seven GMP processing suites.
Meanwhile, on its home turf in Switzerland, Lonza will be constructing a CHF 500 million, or $519 million, large-scale commercial drug fill-finish facility in Stein, which is expected to be completed in 2026. The facility will also be constructed on the same campus as Lonza’s current clinical drug product facility.