Life Sciences Insight

Thermo Fisher revenue climbs 22% for 2021, buoyed by product launches and the year’s biggest buyout

They say you have to spend money to make money, and that definitely proved true for Thermo Fisher Scientific in 2021.

At the end of a year that saw it pour $24 billion into strategic acquisitions and another $2.5 billion into building out the physical footprint and technical capabilities of its manufacturing plants, the medtech giant saw its annual revenue stretch to $39.21 billion, an increase of 22% compared to 2020’s full-year earnings.

The surge in revenue came in large part from new product launches and sales of Thermo Fisher’s existing offerings, including its COVID-19 diagnostics, which brought in $9.23 billion alone throughout the year. The company’s many acquisitions also chipped in, with 3% of the year’s earnings growth linked to its buyouts.

That “outstanding” 2021 exceeded Thermo Fisher’s own estimates, CEO Marc Casper said in a statement and sends the company into 2022 backed by “great momentum”—and a plan to continue reaping the rewards that come with introducing new products and snapping up M&A targets.

Thermo Fisher’s shopping habits had a particularly outsize effect on its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2021. During that period, even as total sales grew only 1% year over year to $10.7 billion—set back by a 4% drop in organic revenue—the company’s acquisitions increased earnings by 6%.

That jump can likely be attributed to the fact that Thermo Fisher closed a pair of acquisitions, including the largest of the year for the entire medtech sector, during the course of the quarter, enabling it to begin cashing in on the new additions to its business.

The smaller of the two closed just in the nick of time, on Dec. 30. In that case, Thermo Fisher put down $1.85 billion for PeproTech, which provides recombinant proteins to biopharma researchers for the development of cell and gene therapies, cellular research models and more. The New Jersey-based target was promptly folded into its buyer’s life sciences solutions business.

That deal closed just a few weeks after the year’s biggest: the $17.4 billion buyout of international contract research giant PPD, which joined the laboratory products and services segment. At the time, Thermo Fisher said the supersized transaction would add $1.50 to its earnings per share in 2022 while contributing approximately $125 million in synergies by the third year after the close of the deal.

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