Whether for research, analysis, discovery, or diagnostics, Thermo Fisher Scientific gets the laboratory ready to assist mankind. Created through the merger between Thermo Electron and Fisher Scientific in 2006, Thermo Fisher makes and distributes analytical instruments, equipment, and laboratory supplies -- from chromatographs to Erlenmeyer flasks. Thermo Fisher serves hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide in its key markets of health care and diagnostics, biotech and pharmaceutical, academic and government, and industrial and applied settings, including environmental quality and process control. Thermo Fisher gets about half of its sales in the US; no other country accounts for more than 6% of sales.
Thermo Fisher's forming businesses still retain their distinct brands in the marketplace. Thermo Scientific is the company's technology brand with an emphasis on analytical instruments and laboratory workflows, while Fisher Scientific concentrates on the scientific, health care, safety, and education clients. More recently launched, its Unity Lab Services provides vendor-agnostic equipment support and services.
Sales are divided into three segments. Its largest, bringing in about half of sales, is laboratory products and services. At less than a third of sales is its analytical technologies business, and at one-fifth is specialty diagnostics. Pitching the company's offerings is a complement of direct sales personnel with e-commerce, third-party distributors, and other channels.
Thermo Fisher's nearly 10% growth came mostly from its two acquisitions, which mainly fueled the company's two smaller segments, growing each by double digits. Existing business growth came mainly from Asia, one of the company's emerging market targets.
As 2011 results are evidence of, acquisitions continue to be a strong component in Thermo Fisher's growth strategy. The cash from making bread-and-butter laboratory equipment (beakers, microscope slides) is used to buy small, innovative companies that can benefit from its resources and drive the company's steady growth, especially in emerging markets. In 2012 the company moved to boost its specialty diagnostics segment by acquiring transplant diagnostics provider One Lambda for $925 million. The purchase not only filled out Thermo Fisher's portfolio, but the largely US-focus of One Lambda's products can be expanded through Thermo Fisher's emerging markets presence.
With no country outside the US representing a double-digit percentage of sales, Thermo Fisher sees lots of room to grow internationally, and is aiming for a quarter of sales to come from emerging markets by 2016. Key countries include China (currently 5% of sales), India, South Korea, Brazil, and Russia. Supporting its global expansion efforts, in 2012 it opened a demonstration lab and training center in Seoul, as well as a manufacturing facility in China.
The company also uses divestitures to keep its business focused. In 2011 it sold its Athena Diagnostics business to Quest Diagnostics for $740 million. At the same time, the company sold its Lancaster Laboratories contract testing unit to Eurofins Scientific for $200 million. Thermo Fisher picked back up the acquisition trail in 2012 by paying $13 million to nab Princeton Security Technologies, a provider of detetction products for radiation settings such as x-rays, gamma rays, and spectroscopy. – less