|Fine Chemicals Division had a strong first half with revenue increasing by 19% to £114 million. The division benefited from the launch of the generic version of ADDERALL XR® in April 2009, with a one-off benefit this year of US $12 million. Sales excluding precious metals were up 22% at £113 million and operating profit was 54% higher at £30.7 million. At constant exchange rates, sales excluding precious metals increased by 10% and operating profit by 43%.
Macfarlan Smith, which manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and intermediate products, achieved good sales growth in both bulk and specialist opiates, the demand for which was unaffected by the global economic slowdown. Operating profit in the first half was ahead of last year.
In Pharmaceutical Materials and Services, our US based API manufacturing business, operating profit was ahead of last year, even without the one-off benefit from the launch of ADDERALL XR®, with increased sales of amphetamine salts and opiates. As a result of reduced activity by generic pharmaceutical companies developing new products, demand for our speciality contract research and manufacturing services, a small part of Fine Chemicals Division, declined significantly.
Research Chemicals, which supplies speciality inorganic and organic chemicals to research institutes and other customers through a global catalogue, has been impacted by reduced levels of activity in Europe and North America, partly offset by further growth in Asia, principally in China. Good control of costs ensured that operating profit was in line with the first half of last year.