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Henry Schein posts record $10.4 billion in annual sales

Henry Schein Inc., Long Island's largest company by

Henry Schein Inc., Long Island's largest company by sales, on Wednesday reported 7 percent year-over-year increases in fourth quarter net sales and net income led by double-digit growth in its animal health unit. Credit: Ed Betz

Henry Schein Inc., Long Island's largest public company by revenue, Wednesday reported that last year it broke the $10 billion annual sales mark for the first time.

Acquisitions in fast-growing overseas markets have fueled growth for the Melville distributor of dental, medical and veterinary products. It also has ridden a rising tide of middle-class income in the United States and overseas, which has led to increasing sums spent on personal and pet health care.

Henry Schein said sales for the fourth quarter, led by double-digit growth in its animal health unit, climbed 7 percent over the year-ago period to $2.7 billion. That result brought annual sales to $10.4 billion.

The company posted a 7 percent year-over-year increase in fourth-quarter net income to $133 million, while earnings per diluted share came in at $1.56, up 9.1 percent.

In a conference call, Stanley M. Bergman, board chairman and chief executive, voiced confidence in the company's growth prospects.

"I don't think we'll have any issue in continuing to expand," he said. "We're very good at integrating companies once we acquire them."

Bergman said that emerging markets are essential in driving growth.

"It's clear that Asia and the developing world are growing at a much faster rate than the developed world and certainly much faster than Europe," he said.

Bergman said Henry Schein's unit in Thailand is in the black, but the China unit has yet to turn a profit as investments outweigh strong sales growth.

Animal Health sales grew 12.3 percent to $731.6 million in the fourth quarter, while Schein's largest business, its dental supply unit, posted a 3.9 percent increase to $1.4 billion.

The company cited a deal announced in November to absorb Cardinal Health's physician-office business as a driver of growth in medical sales, which increased 9.4 percent for the quarter to $461.7 million.

In a research note, Michael Cherny, an analyst at Evercore ISI, said that aside from "one soft spot" of dental equipment sales in North America, Henry Schein "continues to execute in all of its key markets."

Henry Schein shares rose 0.6 percent Wednesday to close at $141.99. In the past 12 months the stock has risen 25 percent.

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