Companies in the Labtech business are active in the market areas diagnostics, biomedical research and laboratory equipment.
As of April 1, 2021, the Biomedica companies are included as a whole in the business area Labtech. The aim is that such an allocation is more consistent with how the companies are monitored internally and will better capture the growth opportunities in the companies. All key financial indicators have been recalculated in accordance with the new breakdown. Previously, the Biomedica companies were distributed with 60 percent in Labtech and 40 percent in Medtech.
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Labtech’s net sales increased by 8 percent in the third quarter to SEK 890m (827), where of organic growth was 7 percent and acquired growth was 1 percent. Exchange rate changes had no impact on net sales. Net sales related to COVID-19 accounted for SEK 290m (304) and organic growth, excluding COVID-19 amounted to 14 percent. EBITA increased by 33 percent to SEK 194m (146), corresponding to an EBITA-margin of 21.8 percent (17.7).
Labtech’s net sales increased by 41 percent in the interim period to SEK 3,284m (2,336), which is entirely organic growth, however exchange rate changes had a negative impact of 4 percent. Net sales related to COVID-19 accounted for SEK 1,400m (558) and organic growth, excluding COVID-19 amounted to 11 percent. EBITA increased by 115 percent to SEK 750m (349), corresponding to an EBITA-margin of 22.8 percent (14.9).
The positive growth in the Labtech business area continued in the third quarter. As expected, sales of COVID-19-related products decreased in the quarter compared with previous quarters. At the same time, it is very encouraging that customers are starting to engage in other activities, which has resulted in strong organic growth excluding COVID-19. In September, we saw a clear normalisation and the number of physical customer visits increased in all markets. We are now finally able to start introducing new products and solutions to customers for the future.
Sales in our diagnostics companies remained high with respect to PCR tests on previously installed instruments, especially in our companies in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Future sales of COVID-19 tests are entirely dependent on how the pandemic evolves, new mutations and different testing requirements in society. What is clear, however, is that testing will continue for a long time and become more of a "routine test" in healthcare. Discussions are ongoing in many hospitals on how to diagnose influenza, RS virus and COVID-19 in the future. Sales in the quarter excluding COVID-19-related products have been strong, particularly in areas such as genetics and oncology.
Our research companies also had a strong quarter in terms of sales, with strong demand for products used in gene sequencing of new COVID-19 mutations. However, the focus on COVID-19 is gradually decreasing in several laboratories and demand has therefore increased for the rest of our range of products. Many customers postponed their investment decisions during the pandemic, but we are now seeing increased activity in the market again. Sales of our own advanced instruments continued to be strong in the third quarter, especially in the US, Europe and Asia outside China.
The acquisition of Bio-Connect Group was completed during the quarter. Bio-Connect has an annual net sales of approximately SEK 140m. The acquisition strengthens our presence in the Benelux countries and opens up opportunities for cooperation with our other companies in Labtech.