President and Chief Executive Officer at Waters
Thank you, Caspar and good morning, everyone. Along with Caspar, joining me on this morning's call is Amol Chaubal, Water's Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. We had a record start to the year with first quarter sales led by instruments which grew over 25% with a broad-based strong performance across all our end markets and geographies.
Before summarizing the quarter, let me start by saying how extremely proud I am of our teams who've worked tirelessly to manage our supply chain, delivering operational excellence and exceptional support for our customers through the ongoing challenges of the pandemic. It is a result of the indomitable spirit of all my colleagues at Waters. I will now provide a brief overview of our first quarter operating results and deliver our key messages. Amol will then review our financial results in detail and provide comments on our financial outlook. We will then open up the phone lines to take your questions.
Turning now to Slide 3. We have three key messages. First, we had a very good start to 2022 with great traction for our new instrument products, strong operational performance and sustained commercial momentum. Demand has remained robust across all our end markets. Second, we're laser focused on execution, innovation and growth. We continue to make great progress in executing against our enterprise priorities with our core initiatives positively impacting our results. We have a revitalized portfolio with innovation that is answering the needs of our customers in both large and small molecule workflows as well as our non -- as well as in our nonpharma markets such as food testing, environmental and material science. And thirdly, Waters has a firm commitment to leave the world better than we found it. We are delivering sustainable value to our shareholders and stakeholders through our ESG programs.
Now moving to Slide 4. In the first quarter, our revenue grew 13% as reported and 16% on a constant currency basis, reflecting broad growth across all our end markets and geographies. Orders in the quarter exceeded our sales of $691 million, reflecting a very strong demand. Instruments grew at 26% in constant currency, with strong growth across our LC mass spec and TA portfolios. New products contributed meaningfully to growth in the quarter, with unit sales of Arc, HPLC and Acuity Premier more than tripling versus the first quarter of last year. In mass spec new instruments in our high-end tandem quad portfolio, such as our Xevo TQ-XS also saw strong growth in both industrial and pharmaceutical applications.
Instrument strength is a positive indicator for future growth of our consumables and service revenues. Recurring revenues grew 9% for the quarter with chemistry up 8% and service up 9%. This quarter had one fewer day than the first quarter of 2021 which translates to a headwind of approximately 1% for our recurring revenues. Without that, recurring revenues would have also grown double digits.
Our MAX peak premier columns have continued to strength and incremental growth to our chemistry business, given the benefit this technology provides for novel modality applications and our increased exposure to biologics. Meanwhile, we're seeing increased service plan attachment rates in our key regions at instrument point of sale. By geography, growth was led by the Americas, with the U.S. up 28%, driven by broad performance in each of our end markets. In China, sales grew 17% with pharma, industrial and academic and government, all up double digits. As lockdowns in certain regions persist, we're beginning to see more of an impact to our business but we're in close contact with our customers and demand remains robust. Once the lockdowns ease, we expect activity levels to catch up that normalize with limited impact to our full year growth expectations for China. However, we anticipate some sales impact in the second quarter if customer access continues to be constrained.
Our Q1 non-GAAP adjusted earnings per share was $2.80, up 22% year-over-year, driven by sales growth, volume leverage and an ability to manage inflation through pricing. Given the global nature of our business, we're seeing ongoing supply constraints and inflationary pressures. Despite this, we have been successful in working through these challenges, leveraging our global manufacturing footprint and working closely with our customers and suppliers while delivering good operating results.
Turning now to Slide 5. While each of our initiatives continues to progress. The two areas I would like to highlight this quarter are contract organizations and launch excellence. For contract organizations, our unique technical abilities and ability to collaborate closely with our customers are resulting in market share gains and strong revenue growth. Revenues from these customers were up over 25% for this quarter lead by over 50% growth in China.
Turning now to launch excellence. Our revitalized portfolio is contributing to growth with demand, ramping for Arc HPLC, ACQUITY Premier and MAX premier columns. ACQUITY Premier and MAX Premier were specifically designed to solve challenges that are particularly relevant for large, complex molecules. Our customers are using the technology for oligonucleotide analysis as well as separation and purification of novel modalities such as mRNA, peptides and glycans, just to name a few examples. Meanwhile, small molecule growth remains solid with customers continuing to purchase new capital equipment, including Arc HPLC.
Now on Slide 6. We recently launched the Xevo TQ Absolute which is up to 15 times more sensitive when analyzing negatively Ionized compounds compared to other tandem quads currently on the market, while also using less sample. It is designed to help pharmaceutical, food and environmental labs, meet regulations requiring trace-level quantitative mass spec analysis for a broad set of applications.
In food testing, the instrument takes detection of anionic pesticides and their metabolites to a new level of quantitation. In pharma, it can provide highly sensitive analysis for oligonucleotides and peptide bioanalysis as well as quantification of estrogens in clinical research, uses for which high-resolution mass spec have typically been required. The instrument is highly efficient, using approximately 50% less electricity and gas and also producing 50% less heat than other high-performance standard quads in the market, both of which reduce the carbon footprint of analytical labs. It is also 50% smaller than other instruments in its class which also adds value to our customers as space and analytical labs is limited and costly. Our tandem quad portfolio is stronger than ever and together with Waters Connect, we're able to make customers' workflows easier, faster and more efficient without compromising performance.
Now on Slide 7. Immerse Delaware, our second innovation and research lab will be opening tomorrow part of a multiyear collaboration with the University of Delaware. Its purpose is to develop analytical solutions to better characterize the manufacturing process for biologicals and novel modalities which will support our path into bioprocess characterization. Researchers from both Waters and the University of Delaware will develop solutions, including sensor and instrument improvements, data analytics and process control. This partnership will help us expand our capabilities to drive improvements in quality, yield and efficiency as well as characterize critical quality attributes that will be a key step towards separating the process from the product and biologics.
On Slide 8, we are delivering sustainable value to our shareholders and stakeholders through our ESG activities which continue to be recognized in a number of areas. Earlier this year, we achieved a score of 100 on the 2022 Corporate Equality Index earning Waters a designation as one of the best places to work for LGBTQ+ equality. In addition, Barron's ranked Waters number 6 on its 100 most sustainable US companies list for 2022 based on a set of 230 performance indicators and reflects our efforts of continuous improvement in social and environmental responsibility. On the list, we were the highest placed company in the healthcare sector and in the life science tools segment.
Recently, within our diversity and inclusion and STEM education efforts, Waters has partnered with three historically black colleges and universities to create STEM opportunities for students through funding, instrument donations, mentoring and the awarding of scholarships to students exploring the analytical sciences. In summary, we are pleased with our strong start to the year and the results in revenue growth and operational performance which are demonstrating our continued success in our focus areas of execution, innovation and growth.
With that, I'd like to pass the call over to Amol for a deeper review of the first quarter financials as well as our outlook for the remainder of the year. Amol?