Mettler-Toledo International would like you to weigh things carefully. The company makes weighing and analytical instruments for the industrial, laboratory, and food retail sectors. Products include bench and floor scales, transportation and logistics data capture, laboratory balances, automated chemistry solutions, process analytics, software, and more. The company also makes products for the retail grocery industry, including labeling systems, checkout scanner scales, receiving scales, and data management software. Nearly two-thirds of Mettler-Toledo's sales come from outside Europe, a third from emerging markets, including China at more than 15% of overall sales.
The company balances its operations across a diverse geographical and product base that provides the company with a leading position in many of its markets. Mettler-Toledo's broad customer base is spread across the electronics, food retailing, laboratory, pharmaceutical, precious metals, and transportation markets, among others. Europe may account for the most sales, at more than a third, but the US is by far the largest single-country contributor at more than a quarter of sales (China is second). The emerging markets for Mettler-Toledo are Africa, Asia (excluding Japan), Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.
Sales have recovered after a 12% drop in 2009. The company has even grown its growth, following the 13% rise in 2010 with 17% revenue improvement in 2011. Almost every region followed suit, with only home country Switzerland missing out in 2010 before rebounding the following year. Mettler-Toledo's focus on China has produced a more than 65% increase from 2009 to 2011. That was its largest geographic growth, but most countries still experienced strong double digit climbs. The Americas ticked up nearly 10%, Europe nearly 20%, while Asia and other regions produced the largest growth at more than 25%. By product type, its laboratory and industrial related products now equally divide up 90% of sales, but industrial products grew a heftier, nearly 25% compared to laboratory products' nearly 15% growth.
Mettler-Toledo's earlier growth was fueled by acquisitions, and it continues to seek strategic fits to bring into the fold. It considers the life sciences, product inspection, and process analytics sectors as its main areas of focus for acquisitions. In 2011 it bought a US-based x-ray inspection business and Germany-based vision inspection operations that it tucked into its product inspection systems portfolio. In 2010 Mettler-Toledo bought its pipette distributor in the UK, and the year prior it acquired a US-based vision inspection technology. The company's growth strategy also includes gaining market share, expanding in emerging markets, extending its technology leadership, maintaining cost discipline, and pursuing strategic acquisitions.
Mettler-Toledo also offers services, such as calibration, certification, repairs, and spare parts supply. In a down year like 2009, services make up more of the company's annual revenues (coming in at a quarter of sales in 2009) as product sales decline, particularly in weighing systems. It keeps its service revenues growing (14% from 2009 to 2011) by offering value-added services, such as regulatory compliance.
Mettler-Toledo's manufacturing occurs substantially at facilities in China, Germany, Switzerland, the UK, and the US, with laboratory products made primarily in Switzerland, but also supported in the US and China. – less