German pharmaceutical and ingredients group Boehringer Ingelheim, outpacing market growth, ended 2002 with a healthy rise in profits, the company reports this week.
Increases in both sales and operating profit hit the double digits with net sales in 2002 rising by 13.2 per cent to €7.6 billion, compared to €6.7 billion in 2001. Operating income grew by 10.4 per cent to €1.1 billion, up from €980 million for the previous year.
At a press conference in Ingelheim, Germany, Boehringer Ingelheim confirmed that net income had improved by a considerable 34 per cent over the previous year, reaching €537 million. Professor Marbod Muff, a member of the board of managing directors pointed out that the consolidation of the Japanese self-medication company SSP and the negative development of exchange rates impacted on last year's figures. Adjusted for these two factors, the company posted growth of 10.1 per cent.
"At a time when many other companies are having to cut back on staff, we are stepping up manpower and are still taking on new employees," added Muff.
Boehringer Ingelheim researches, develops and markets drugs in the human pharmaceuticals sector, which make up 96 per cent of net sales and in animal health, that contributes 4 per cent. The company reported that human pharmaceuticals rose by almost 14 per cent to €7.3 billion in 2002. Animal Health on the other hand stagnated at around €320 million as a result of the difficult situation on the American market.
"Boehringer Ingelheim is in the extremely fortunate position that patent-protected products in future year will account for an ever higher percentage of its product portfolio," said Rolf Krebs, chairman of the board of managing directors. "We are extremely optimistic about the future," he added.
Krebs indicated that health care policy in Europe, especially in Germany, will lead the company to alter investment decisions in the medium term. Last year, a record sum of over €630 million was invested, up by 16 per cent on 2001, predominantly in projects in Germany, such as the new biotechnology plant in Biberach or the active ingredients plant in Ingelheim.
Muff concluded by describing the company's financial resources and liquidity position as "extremely sound and robust".