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Fiscal year 2011: B. Braun continues its growth trend

B. Braun increased Group sales by 4.2 percent to 4,609.4 million euros.

Melsungen (Germany). In fiscal year 2011, B. Braun Melsungen AG increased Group sales by 4.2 percent to 4,609.4 million euros. This means that the pharmaceutical and medical engineering business is maintaining its growth trend. Currency-adjusted, there is a growth in sales of 5.3 percent (previous year 5.2 percent). The EBITDA is slightly below that of the previous year (700.5 million euros) at 688.5 million euros due to start-up costs for new factories, cost-cutting measures on the part of public sector healthcare purchasers and increased commodity prices. Group net income amounted to 255.7 million euros (- 7.8 percent); this result is second best in the entire history of the company. It proved possible to increase the equity by 10.1 percent to 2,183.5 million euros. The equity ratio is 42.8 percent.

At the press briefing on annual results in Melsungen, Dr. Heinz-Walter Große, Chairman of the Management Board of B. Braun Melsungen AG, said, "The B. Braun Group is in a good, stable economic condition. We are now looking to the future with confidence. In the previous five years we have invested 2.4 billion euros globally in the construction and expansion of factories and, in so doing, have set the course for a successful and secure future."

The strongest contributors to sales growth were the Aesculap and Hospital Care Divisions. The Asia/Pacific region (+ 12.2 percent) is the Group's growth engine. With an increase in sales, Latin America (+ 5.0 percent) and Europe (excluding Germany) have also generated good performance with a rise of 5.4 percent. In the context of difficult market conditions, the growth rate in Germany is also satisfactory at 4.2 percent. In North America, however, which is an important region for B. Braun, sales in euro declined by 3.4 percent, although in US dollars they increased by 1.3 percent.  

Sales in the Hospital Care Division climbed 3.5 percent to 2,159.4 million euros (previous year: 2,086.7 million euros). IV catheters (Introcan Safety® and Vasofix Safety® catheters) and injectable drugs (Propofol-®Lipuro, Duplex and Heparin) were important sales drivers. Large-volume IV solutions and standard IV sets, as well as regional anesthesia, recorded a good performance due to increased capacities.

For fiscal year 2011, the Aesculap Division posted sales totaling 1,355.8 million euros (previous year: 1,281.1 million euros), corresponding to an increase of 5.8 percent in comparison with the previous year. Surgery continued to be the main growth driver in the division, followed by vascular therapy. Sales of the drug-eluting balloon catheter product developed particularly well. The performance in the wound closure field was similarly positive.

With growth of 2.5 percent, the OPM Division achieved sales of 568.4 million euros in the reporting year (previous year: 554.6 million euros). Hygiene Management, Diabetes Care, and Incontinence Care achieved above-average growth.
Sales in the B. Braun Avitum Division increased by 5.4 percent to 500.6 million euros in the reporting year (previous year: 474.8 million euros). The growth was predominantly achieved in the dialyzers and machines groups, but the dialysis provider business also saw positive growth, with a good increase in patient numbers particularly in India, South Africa and Russia. 

Spending on research and development was raised again significantly, by 24.5 million euros (+ 15.7 percent) to 179.9 million euros (previous year: 155.4 million euros).

Investment projects promoted
The sustained high demand for B. Braun products means we need to expand our production capacities. A total of around 2.4 billion euros was invested between 2007 and 2011 for this reeason, and a further 2 to 2.5 billion euros is foreseen for the period from 2012 to 2015. This investment program is to be broadly financed from the free cash flow.
The expansion of Ecoflac® manufacturing capacity at the Rubí (Spain) and São Gonçalo (Brazil) locations has been completed, as have the new building for manufacturing IV sets in Hanoi (Vietnam) and the factory for IV pumps and dialysis machines in Melsungen (Germany). The expansion and redesign of the Penang (Malaysia) site is expected to be completed in 2014. The project for the next generation of containers continues in Irvine (US, California), as has the expansion of the Urinary Care Center of Excellence in France. The expansion of manufacturing capacity for dialysis rinsing solutions in Glandorf (Germany) has been ongoing since December 2010 and is expected to last three years. At the Tuttlingen site (Germany), construction of the forging, container, and power systems production facilities began in 2011.

Increase in employee numbers
As of December 31, 2011, B. Braun had 43,676 employees worldwide (previous year: 41,322), which corresponds to a growth of 5.7 percent in comparison to the previous year. The number of employees in Germany increased by 5.4 percent to 11,498 (previous year: 10,907).

At present, 726 (previous year: 699) young people are undergoing training in Germany, an increase of 3.9 percent year-on-year. 105 (previous year: 87) trainees are following Germany's dual system for vocational education. They combine their operational training with a period of study at a University or a University of co-operative education. Employees in Vietnam and Malaysia will also have the opportunity to undergo dual training based on the German model.

B. Braun expects growth in Group sales of between five and six percent for fiscal year 2012. "We will be able to maintain the sales growth of recent years in future," says Dr. Große. "We will be able to extend our existing market share, as well as seize opportunities presented by the market, with innovative products, modern production facilities and closeness with our customers. We are also convinced that, as a result, the previous growth rates can be achieved again."



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