How technological breakthroughs end up on the bottom line

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Most companies say they want to provide good products for their customers. At Waters, we take this idea a bit further. Quite simply, our goal is to provide the best products in every category
in which we choose to compete.

Consider the Alliance System. A product of our most significant investment in research and development, and the result of a remarkable team effort at Waters, Alliance was launched in 1996.
It instantly set a new standard for performance and reliability in the HPLC industry. It also helped us win customers in numerous new accounts. And extensions of the Alliance product line will provide a strong foundation for our HPLC business for many years to come. Later in this report, we will talk about how
our recent acquisition of Micromass Limited, a mass spectrometry company, allows us to combine complementary technologies to bring scientists new capabilities in LC-MS that are full of commercial promise.

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Waters generated revenues of $332.9 million in 1995,
$391.1 million in 1996 and $465.5 million in 1997,
putting year over year revenue growth at over 17%

since becoming an independent company in late 1994.

In 1997, our Millennium32 software, the new version of the industry’s best-selling product, redefined chromatography information management. It is the first true 32-bit program of its kind, and easier to use yet more powerful than existing software. Written for the Microsoft® Windows environment, Millennium32 is the backbone of our networking strategy. It is also year 2000-compliant. And as many labs migrate to Windows NT and Windows® 95, Millennium32 is the logical choice for software standardization.

In addition to the instrument and the software, the third critical element of analyzing a chemical mixture by HPLC is the HPLC column, which separates a sample’s constituents from one another, so that their concentrations can be accurately measured. Columns are consumable products, and once a particular column brand is specified for an HPLC method, regulatory compliance often dictates that the same column brand be specified for years to come. The Waters Symmetry® line of columns is recognized as being unsurpassed in performance and column-to-column reproducibility. This reproducibility is important, so that methods can be transferred to sites around the world and yield exactly the same results.

Last year Waters launched the Oasis™ line of single-use, disposable sample preparation products. Oasis™ products are used to prepare complex samples such as plasma for follow-up analysis of drugs and their metabolites by HPLC and LC-MS. The introduction of this product line gives Waters access to a $50 million market segment in which we previously did not participate.

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