Vétoquinol rides reference products sales in second quarter

While French animal health company Vétoquinol S.A. saw little to brag about in the first half of 2014, it can learn something from its second-quarter earnings. The 10th-largest animal health company worldwide, the Lure-based company's first-half sales were only up 2.7% to $201 million--but it had particularly strong growth at the end of the second quarter, at 8.8%. It also picked up a new business in April that should help in the second half.

Vétoquinol's second-quarter growth was driven by its reference products, up 9.9% compared to the same period last year, according to its earnings report released on July 31. Reference products accounted for 46.3% of the company's total sales in the first half of 2014, compared to 43.3% for the same period last year.

Sales of companion animal products increased by 5.6% compared to the same period last year, while Vétoquinol's food production animal segment was hit by a 0.5% fall. First-half net income was up in total by 4.2%. 

First-half sales, the company said, were hit by the negative currency exchange between the euro and the weakening of the U.S. dollar, Canadian dollar, Indian rupee and Brazilian real. But in April, Vétoquinol acquired Bioniche Life Sciences' animal health business--leaving Vétoquinol CEO Matthieu Frechin optimistic about the company's future.

"We continue to put our energy into developing our reference products; every half year sees a further improvement in our brands' reputation and the profitability of the Vétoquinol Group continues to grow, " Frechin wrote in the earnings report. "Acquiring the Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. animal health business has allowed us to accelerate our growth in the US market and gain a foothold in Australia."

In 2013, Vétoquinol pulled in total revenues of $413 million, a small 0.5% jump up from 2012. Although the company has expanded its presence to 24 countries, its operations are strongest in Europe--accounting for 57.5% of its total sales last year. Vétoquinol was listed on the Euronext Paris stock market in 2006 as VETO.

- here's the earnings report

Special Report: Top 10 animal health companies of 2013 - Vétoquinol S.A.