Back to COVER 

The past year was a notable one. The business and market factors that have driven the Company’s growth over the last several years continued to build momentum, while at the same time, several new exciting initiatives took center stage. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology customer demand has been our strongest source of growth. These companies continue to invest heavily in technologies that increase the number of compounds being synthesized and screened for early stage drug discovery, and that accelerate promising compounds through the drug development phase. Waters products and service offerings help increase productivity at these companies, and appeal to their almost insatiable demand for increased detection sensitivity and higher throughput. The combination of our recently introduced HPLC systems — the Alliance® HT and the CapLC™ — and our market-leading Micromass® mass spectrometry systems — the Quattro Ultima,™ the LCT™ with MUX Technology™ and the Q-TOF™ — have fulfilled customer needs and generated significant revenues.

Demand from customers in the proteomics research segment of the life sciences market grew rapidly as 1999 progressed. In proteomics, scientists study the protein content of cells, typically in the search for new drug targets. In 1999, we partnered with Bio-Rad Laboratories, a well-known life science company, to introduce an integrated proteomics workstation and analysis system, anchored by our industry-leading Q-TOF mass spectrometer. We believe that the life science industry is in the early stages of investing in proteomics research, and we are in the process of bringing to market more high-value products to this important emerging area.     The key to our growth has been our rich pipeline of new products, and the year 2000 is shaping up as yet another stellar new product year. We plan major introductions and enhancements to our HPLC and HPLC-MS product lines that should continue our strong leadership positions. In the fast-moving mass spectrometry field, the number of major new product launches planned for 2000 is evidence of our innovative capacity and our ability to rapidly commercialize these innovations.
The combination of fast-growing markets, innovative products and a dedication to operational excellence has resulted in the company’s industry-leading financial performance. In 1999, sales grew 14%, earnings per share grew 32% and free cash flow reached a record $127 million. Our strong financial performance gives us the flexibility to pursue growth aggressively. I want to thank our customers and our employees across our business units — Waters, TA Instruments and Micromass — for their dedicated efforts and contributions to our success.    
As we survey the field of new opportunities before us — evolving customer needs in high-throughput combinatorial chemistry for drug discovery, the impact of proteomics on understanding disease causation and the much anticipated contribution of genomics on drug development and personalized medicine — we are confident that Waters is in an extraordinary position to apply our technologies and continue to produce outstanding business performance.

            Douglas A. Berthiaume
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Back to Table of ContentsBACK to FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS