Biolin Scientific (Biolin) offers advanced analysis instruments for research and development that help scientists and enterprises on the frontiers to scientifically analyse materials, nanotechnologies and pharmaceuticals faster and better. Operations are divided into two business areas: Analytical Instruments and Drug Discovery. Analytical Instruments, with the brands Q-Sense, KSV NIMA and Attension, is active in areas such as chemical engineering, development of new materials and the energy sector (such as battery technology, solar panels and oil handling). Most customers are found in academic research, but the proportion of industrial customers is growing. Drug Discovery, with the Sophion brand, has a leading platform for analysis of living cells. Sophion’s systems are used by pharmaceutical companies worldwide to test the safety and efficacy of new products.
The head office is in Sweden but the company also has operations in Denmark, Finland, the UK, the US, China and Japan. Sales are global and conducted through the company’s own sales teams in major markets and through distributors. The company has approximately 115 employees.
The global market for analytical instruments has annual sales of approximately USD 50bn and growth of approximately 4–5% per year. The market is expected to continue to show positive development with the highest anticipated growth in Asia and North America.
Biolin’s products have strong niche positions due to patent protection and/or unique functionality. Growth within academic research is driven by public and private grants, while growth among industrial customers is driven by product development and new process technologies.
The year in brief
2015 exhibited good sales growth of 6%, mainly driven by continued growth within Drug Discovery and favourable currency effects. Within Analytical Instruments, development was stable, albeit varied among the different geographic regions.
During the year, the new instrument Qube was launched. Designed for ion channel screening in the development of new drugs, it is intended for pharmaceutical companies. In conjunction with this, the operating profit was negatively affected by higher depreciation for investments in product development which are expected to provide a positive contribution in future.
Biolin received a capital contribution of SEK 5m during the year.
Good business ethics and proactive anti-corruption efforts are top-priority issues for Biolin. The company’s sales are mainly a result of procurement processes and customers are often reliant on public funding. A high business ethics standard is central and governed by the company’s code of conduct which is communicated to both the group’s own employees and to its partners. The company mainly operates in markets with tough labour, health and safety legislation. Its direct environmental impact is small, and the company contributes to a sustainable society in many of its product applications, for example within renewable energy and research into new materials.
We acquired Biolin Scientific with the intention of harnessing the organic growth potential and making add-on acquisitions that generate value. One major add-on (Sophion, Drug Discovery business area) has been completed, while a non-core operation (Osstell) has been divested.
We continue to develop existing operations, focusing on organic growth and product development. For Drug Discovery, product development and the launch of the new instrument Qube has vast potential, as does continuing to develop the strong aftermarket offering that includes consumables. In Analytical Instruments, the intention is to build growth by raising the proportion of industrial customers, something that is also expected to contribute favourably to aftermarket sales, and to increase sales in China.
(Mainly from Ratos's annual report 2015.)