IW 50 Best: Varian Shows 'Healthy Gains'

Medical-device manufacturers technologies have global reach

During the last two weeks of March, X-ray and radiation products manufacturer Varian Medical Systems Inc. will showcase cancer-treatment technologies in Asia at two medical trade events.

"This is demonstrative of our ongoing commitment to the region, where we now have not only sales, but also service and manufacturing operations," said Alan Tang, Varian's Far East marketing manager.

Asia is just one of the many regions globally where the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company markets its life-saving technologies. Varian recently reached a milestone in Germany where its advanced proton therapy systems are being used to deliver proton particles that destroy tumors. Clinicians at the Rinecker Proton Therapy Center in Munich treated their 100th patient using Varians proton therapy system, the company said on March 11.

Patients have come from across Germany and 19 other countries, including Canada, Argentina, the UK and Switzerland, to receive the treatments, Varian said.

About a week earlier, the company announced that researchers in the United States and Denmark made a breakthrough in image-guided targeting of prostate tumors during arc-radiotherapy treatments. The research, partially supported by Varian along with physicists at Stanford University in California and Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, have created a real-time tracking method of prostate motion using Varian's On-Board Imager. The development is expected to help clinicians reduce the likelihood of complications during treatment, according to Varian.

Varian Medical Systems Inc.
At A Glance


Varian Medical Systems Inc.
Palo Alto, Calif.
Primary Industry: Machinery
Number of Employees: 5,100
2008 In Review
Revenue: $2.07 billion
Profit Margin: 13.50%
Sales Turnover: 1.05
Inventory Turnover: 4.62
Revenue Growth: 16.50%
Return On Assets: 16.59%
Return On Equity: 34.02%

Earlier in the year, the company said it received certification to assemble and service X-ray tubes in China to support its growing customer base of X-ray equipment manufacturers and service organizations in the country.

"The certification of our facility in Beijing significantly enhances our ability to serve China's X-ray imaging industry on an expedited basis with local expertise," said Steve Kimmel, vice president of X-Ray Products marketing, in a Jan. 27 statement. "This is expanding our capability to serve one of the world's fastest growing markets and reflects Varian's commitment to that market."

Varian's facility in China will use and support X-ray tube technology and imaging components developed at the company's X-Ray Products headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Varian X-Ray Products manufactures its X-ray tubes and flat panel detectors for digital imaging at its plant in Salt Lake City. In addition to the new facility in Beijing, Varian's X-Ray Products group assembles and services X-ray tubes in Willich, Germany, and in Charleston, S.C., the headquarters of its business. Varian's Beijing facility also produces systems for treating cancer with radiotherapy and radiosurgery.

The company also said in January its net income rose 13% to $78.8 million, or 63 cents per share, compared with $68.8 million, or 56 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.

The company achieved "healthy gains in margins and net earnings" during the quarter as orders for Varians oncology systems and X-ray products businesses increased, said Tim Guertin, president and CEO of Varian Medical Systems.

Varian will announce its second-quarter results on April 28.


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