Brand-New Reagent Plant of French Subsidiary Completed

September 16, 2008


Laboratory reagent plant of French subsidiary to start operation on September 19

Doubling production capacity in the US and European markets

Aiming at sales of 33 billion yen in 2010 by expanding sales of laboratory equipment

HORIBA ABX, the French subsidiary of HORIBA, acquired the land adjacent to its base in Montpellier, France and completed a brand-new testing reagent plant. After a ceremony celebrating the plant's completion on 19 September, it will be officially operational.

We expect an increase in sales of testing reagents, which account for approx. 60% of the sales of our medical business, due to demand growth at an estimated rate of 15% per year and additional demand for newly introduced products. We will address this expanding demand by increasing production capacity to 13,300 tons, double the current figure. Furthermore, we will concentrate our efforts on strengthening competitiveness not only in the market of our mainstay blood cell counters, but also in the market for biochemical equipment, by integrating quality control and R & D functions into the current manufacturing function.

Our medical business made a full-fledged start with a mainstay of blood cell counters in 1996 when we acquired ABX, France. It now plays a pivotal role in this field through such efforts as introducing into the worldwide market products jointly developed with our company.
Testing reagents for laboratory equipment as spare goods were the most profitable products in our business in this field, accounting for approx. 60% of sales of the business. As a HORIBA group, we will commit ourselves to aggressively introducing new products and addressing increasingly expanding demand for testing reagents, on the basis of a demand growth rate forecast of 15% per year.

In response to this trend toward market expansion and our group strategy, we launched construction of a new reagent plant in September 2007, with completion as reported here. The plant's full-fledged operation will bring the production capacity of laboratory reagents for our prospective mainstay biochemical testing equipment, in addition to the current mainstay blood cell counters, from the current 7,000 tons to 13,300 tons, almost double. This enables us to establish a reagent supply system reaching a total of approx. 17,000 tons/year of world demand by our 3 plants in France, Brazil and Aso.

References

Outline of New Reagent Plant
Site area: 30,780 m2
Building area: 3,200 m2
Total floor area: 4,400 m2
2 stories above ground and 1 story underground

HORIBA ABX
A blood cell counter manufacturer established in 1983. Since 1987, offered technical resources regarding small and medium blood cell counters under a license agreement on domestic sales and manufacture with our company. A subsidiary of our company since 1996, now playing a pivotal role in our medical business in the foreign market, through the manufacture and sales of testing equipment, sales of reagents and services. As of December 2007, sales: 21.816 billion yen; employees: 850. Address, Montpellier, Herault, France; director, Atsushi Nakamine