NEW YORK -- In the kind of annual meeting that occurs only among closely knit board members after a satisfactory -- if not great -- year, directors of Life Technologies Inc. ratified new members, reviewed last year's results and gave indications of better times ahead, all in about 20 minutes yesterday.
The meeting at New York's opulent Metropolitan Club attracted few observers. Chief Executive J. Stark Thompson noted that Life Tech took a $1.2 million charge to cover a reduction in its work force to 1,300 employees from about 1,350, the first cut since the company was created a decade ago from the merger of two biotechnology concerns.
"We got a little ahead of ourselves in 1991," he said. "Record sales didn't produce record earnings, and that necessitated a painful adjustment."
By the end of this year, the company should be larger than it is today, Mr. Thompson said.
Life Tech provides products to other biotechnology companies. One of its main focuses is molecular biology products used to examine the genetic composition of cells and to permit production of genetically engineered drugs and vaccines.
With the long-awaited boom in biotechnology finally beginning to take shape, Mr. Thompson said, orders for Life Tech products are continuing to grow.
"We're pretty bullish," he said. Particular strength has been evident in the United Kingdom, France and Germany, as well as from a reorganized entry into the Japanese market.