Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. engages in the provision of analytical instruments, equipment, reagents and consumables, software and services for research, analysis, discovery, and diagnostics. It operates through the following segments: Life Sciences Solutions; Analytical Instruments; Specialty Diagnostics; and Laboratory Products and Services. The Life Sciences Solutions segment comprises of portfolio of reagents, instruments, and consumables used in biological and medical research, discovery and production of new drugs, and vaccines as well as diagnosis of disease. The Analytical Instruments segment offers instruments, consumables, software, and services that are used for a range of applications in the laboratory, on the production line, and in the field. The Specialty Diagnostics segment gives diagnostic test kits, reagents, culture media, instruments, and associated products used to increase the speed and accuracy of diagnoses. The Laboratory Products and Services segment involves in providing everything needed for the laboratory, including a combination of self-manufactured and sourced products for customers in research, academic, government, industrial, and healthcare settings. The company was founded in November 2006 and is headquartered in Waltham, MA.
Sales in the first quarter of 2019 were $6.13 billion, an increase of $272 million from the first quarter of 2018. Sales increased $31 million due to acquisitions. The unfavorable effects of currency translation resulted in a decrease in revenues of $180 million in 2019. Aside from the effects of acquisitions/divestitures and currency translation, revenues increased $421 million (7%) primarily due to increased demand in the quarter compared to the 2018 quarter. Sales to customers in each of the company's primary end markets grew. Sales growth was strong in each of the company's primary geographic areas, particularly Asia.
In the first quarter of 2019, total company operating income and operating income margin were $920 million and 15.0%, respectively, compared with $786 million and 13.4%, respectively, in 2018. The increase in operating income was primarily due to profit on higher sales and, to a lesser extent, productivity improvements, net of inflationary cost increases, and lower restructuring and other costs, net. These increases were offset in part by strategic growth investments, unfavorable foreign currency exchange and unfavorable sales mix.
In the first quarter of 2019, the company recorded restructuring and other costs, net, of $28 million, including $6 million of charges to cost of revenues for the sale of inventories revalued at the date of acquisition. The company recorded $11 million of charges to selling, general and administrative expenses for third-party transaction costs related to recently announced acquisitions and divestiture. The company also recorded $11 million of restructuring and other costs, net, primarily for employee severance and abandoned facilities costs associated with the closure and consolidation of facilities in the U.S. and Europe. See Note 14 for restructuring charges expected in future periods.