Life Sciences targets Japan for expansion

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The Independent Online
LIFE Sciences International, the laboratory equipment manufacturer, has recruited a general manager with reponsibility for the Far East to try to boost its poor share of the Japanese market, writes Paul Durman.

Donald Cameron has worked in Japan for 19 years and is joining from Vickers Medical International in Tokyo. Christopher Bland, Life Sciences chairman, said he would be looking to Mr Cameron, a fluent Japanese speaker, 'to take us more strongly into the Japanese market'.

Despite many of its products being market leaders in the US, Mr Bland said the group was relatively weak in the Japanese and German markets, the second and third largest. A 'lousy' performance in Japan contributed to a slowdown in Life Sciences' growth in the first six months, described as the toughest market conditions since present management took over more than five years ago.

Interim pre-tax profits increased by 10 per cent to pounds 8.5m, but earnings per share growth was trimmed to 3 per cent because of a higher tax charge and the shares issued to buy Neslab last year.

In recent weeks Life Sciences has seen some strengthening of demand in North America, where it does two-thirds of its business, leading the board to believe that 1992 will be 'a solid year'.

The interim dividend rises to 1.2p from 1.15p.