UPDATE 1-BioMerieux cuts sales target as W.Europe, U.S. weak

* Sees organic sales up 4.5 pct this year

* Keeps operating margin target

* Shares fall 4.1 pct in early trade

(Adds detail, background)

PARIS, Oct 22 (BestGrowthStock) – French in vitro diagnostics group
BioMerieux (BIOX.PA: ) cut its full-year organic sales growth
target again on Friday, citing weakness in the healthcare
industry in western Europe and North America.
The company said it now expects sales to rise 4.5 percent in
2010, down from a forecast of a 6 percent increase given in
September.

“The healthcare environment in western Europe and North
America has continued to deteriorate,” Chief Executive Stephane
Bancel said in a statement.

BioMerieux stuck to its full-year target of an operating
margin before non-recurring items of between 17 and 18 percent
at constant exchange rates.

The company said like-for-like sales rose 4.3 percent to 984
million euros ($1.4 billion) in the first nine months of the
year, but declines in North America and Latin America as well as
slower growth in Europe cut the rate of increase to 1.1 percent
in the third quarter.

“Sales continued to be hindered by ongoing uncertainty in
the healthcare industry” in the United States, BioMerieux said.
Sales in France fell due to laboratory consolidation, it added.
($1=.7181 Euro)
(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Michael Shields)

UPDATE 1-BioMerieux cuts sales target as W.Europe, U.S. weak