MAINZ (dpa-AFX) - The pharmaceutical supplier Schott Pharma is lowering its expectations for the coming financial year due to reduced sales of syringes to a major customer. Sales are likely to increase by a high single-digit to low double-digit percentage on a currency-adjusted basis in the 2024/25 financial year starting on October 1, the Mainz-based company surprisingly announced on Tuesday evening. This is less than the market currently expects from the SDax company. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg have so far assumed an average sales increase of around 17 percent in the coming financial year. The share price slumped on Wednesday.

In early trading, the stock lost almost 15 percent to 31.90 euros. Schott Pharma only started on the stock exchange at the end of September at 27 euros. Since then, the share price initially rose to a record high of 43.40 euros at the end of February. As a result of the price slide in the middle of the week, the share has fallen back to the January level. Since the beginning of the year, the share price has fallen by more than four percent.

According to Schott, profitability as measured by the margin on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization is also likely to increase less than expected. Experts had previously predicted an increase to an operating margin of around 29% for the coming year. The reason for the expected development is the reduced purchase of syringes by a major customer.

According to Jefferies analyst James Vane-Tempest, the major customer is a company from the MRNA sector. With the disappointing profit warning from Schott, the focus of investors could now also turn to Gerresheimer, although the specialty packaging manufacturer is hardly active in the mRNA segment. Gerresheimer shares lost around 1.5 percent in the MDax.

mRNA technology in particular is seen as a beacon of hope in medicine. It is based on the blueprints of the body's own proteins. It became known for vaccines during the coronavirus pandemic. Research into mRNA is developing rapidly and is opening up new potential applications in medicine.

According to Schott, the weaker sales of syringes cannot initially be offset by other business areas. Customers across the industry are only building up small stocks of vials in their warehouses, it added. This effect is due to the temporary reduction in inventories. In the long term, however, the market dynamics are intact, which is why the pharmaceutical supplier confirmed its medium-term forecast despite the temporary effects in the coming financial year.

The current year up to the end of September is also expected to turn out as previously forecast. On a comparable basis, the management anticipates an increase in turnover of nine to eleven percent. A similar proportion of this should remain as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) as in the previous year (26.6%).

In the second quarter, sales at Schott Pharma increased by 5 percent to 234 million euros. However, the operating result fell by 35 percent to 44 million euros, mainly due to currency effects.

"We are convinced that the long-term growth drivers in the market are intact and that we are well positioned with our strategy to continue to benefit from this," said CFO Almuth Steinkühler according to the press release.

The company plans to present its detailed quarterly figures on June 27./men/niw/lew/jha/