Eurofins to expand Chinese food testing lab

Picture: Istock

Eurofins has said it is ‘on track’ to complete the expansion of its main Chinese food testing laboratory in Suzhou, during its first half year results.

The group added there will be construction of food testing laboratories in Australia and Singapore by the end of 2017.

These projects follow the completion of laboratories in Hong Kong and India, as well as site upgrade and expansion projects in Australia and New Zealand in 2015.

Eurofins said Asia Pacific contributed revenues of €153.7m, representing 22.5% growth over H1 2015 despite significant negative currency impact in some countries.

Eurofins Scientific acquired Agfirst Bay of Plenty, a fruit maturity testing lab in New Zealand last month.

It provides kiwifruit maturation sampling and testing services across its two facilities in the Bay of Plenty, a region which represents 80% of New Zealand’s kiwifruit crop, according to the New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority.

Dr Gilles Martin, Eurofins CEO, said AgFirst Bay of Plenty expands its offering in New Zealand and reinforces the footprint in the Asia-Pacific region.

“This acquisition is consistent with our strategy of building leading positions in niche areas in the testing market, to ensure deepest expertise in a wide range of markets. We look forward to providing AgFirst Bay of Plenty’s clients with access to the full range of services and capabilities of the Eurofins Group.”

Positive tailwinds in food testing

In its half year results, Eurofins said the food testing business continues to see positive tailwinds, as well as benefits from the group’s scale.

The businesses in France, now the second-largest market generating 26% of total revenues, achieved €314.4m of revenues in H1 2016.

Eurofins was selected by the Association Nationale des Expéditeurs et Exportateurs de Fruits et Légumes (ANEEFEL) as a reference laboratory. The firm said this demonstrates its capabilities to support the industry.

Eurofins’ businesses in North America generated revenues of €386.6m in the first half of 2016, representing 32% of total revenues, and an increase of 34.5%, on double-digit organic growth.

Regulatory tailwinds continue to drive market growth in the US, whilst Eurofins’ expanding footprint is reflected in market share gains with investments strengthening network capacity.

Revenue contribution from Germany, which makes up 10.8% of revenues, was €130.4m, an increase of 11.8% versus H1 2015.

Strong growth in the food testing business reflects increased volumes from global retail and food manufacturing clients in addition to higher share of incremental market volumes driven by new regulations such as those addressing potential contaminants from packaging materials.

Site consolidation update

Site consolidation in the UK and Benelux are expected to be completed by end of 2016, while the ongoing programme to launch 35 start-ups is expected to finish by the end of 2017.

Eurofins plans to deliver another 75,000m2 of laboratory surface by the end of 2016, following the 55,000m2 added in 2015.

The programme includes the completion of four further start-up laboratories this year, which would bring 25 start-ups completed out of the 35 planned by end of 2017.

In the US, Eurofins is on track to complete two of the planned remaining nine start-ups this year, to bring total US start-up laboratories to 12 by the end of 2017.

In Europe, the move to consolidate several small sites to a large campus in Hamburg is planned for end of 2018, as are site consolidation programmes in Benelux and Sweden.

Partnership on infrared testing

Meanwhile, Eurofins QTA and Q-Interline are to collaborate on infrared testing in the North American market.

Eurofins QTA will provide installation, application support, calibration development and maintenance services.

Per Sand, sales manager of Q-Interline, said they were expecting a lot from the collaboration.

“Eurofins QTA has extensive experience in the field of servicing customers and securing analytical results of very high quality. We are very pleased that Eurofins QTA will be offering our FT-IR and FT-NIR platform for their QTA concept.”

Q-Interline's Quant FT-IR and FT-NIR can be offered for the Quality Trait Analysis Concept (QTA Concept) of Eurofins. Under this, customers have access to analytical results, without maintaining calibrations.

Dr Ching-Hui Tseng, founder and CTO of Eurofins QTA, said the collaboration bridges the gap between the two areas that exists for the end user of infrared analysis.

"The successful implementation of NIR analysis is dependent upon the integration of high quality instruments and the expertise to create, monitor and optimize operational algorithms for those instruments in day-to-day operations.

“Additionally, the reliable wet chemistry data from Eurofins laboratories insures the accurate and precise date that is fundamental to the robust NIR methods that are the mainstay of QTA's business model.”

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