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Thursday, March 24, 2022

Fiscal year 2021: B. Braun increases sales in a challenging environment

The B. Braun Group increased its sales in FY 2021 by 5.8 percent year over year, to €7,859.9 million (previous year: €7,426.3 million). Thanks to extraordinary efforts, B. Braun was able to ensure delivery capability to its customers, even with significant added pressure on the supply chains.

“2021 was another challenging year for B. Braun. But even with all the uncertainty in the markets, we managed to increase our sales in line with our expectations and strategic goals. We were able to successfully manage considerable fluctuations in demand with our broad portfolio and international presence and the exceptional efforts of our employees. That meant we were able to reliably supply our customers, even in the second year of the pandemic, and stay with them as a strong partner,” B. Braun CEO Anna Maria Braun said during a virtual press conference today.

All of B. Braun’s divisions achieved good sales growth. Hospital Care benefited from the high demand for infusion pumps. Aesculap saw the strongest growth in the wake of a tough year in 2020 due to the pandemic. With scheduled surgeries once again postponed in many countries, however, this division was not yet able to return to pre-crisis levels. Increased sales in the extracorporeal blood treatment segment and the expansion of the wound management business strengthened Avitum’s development.

However, significantly higher purchase prices for raw materials, components, and commercial goods, together with supply bottlenecks, prevented an increase in the results. B. Braun Group EBITDA was stable at €1,101.9 million (previous year: €1,103.2 million). The EBITDA margin fell short of the goal (15 percent of sales), ending up at 14 percent (previous year: 14.9 percent). Earnings before taxes came in slightly below last year’s level, at €408.6 million (previous year: €416.1 million).

“In light of the significantly positive sales growth, we cannot be satisfied with this result,” Braun said. “Especially, significantly higher expenses for the reliable supply of our customers, as well as increased raw material, energy, and logistics costs, could only be passed on to the market to a limited extent, and we were unable to offset these increases despite strict cost management. This weighed on our results. Therefore, we will realize price increases in the current fiscal year as well. We expect volatility to remain high in the markets for the foreseeable future, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. To continue to be a strong partner to our customers, we will strengthen our resilience and innovation power and initiate additional changes within the company. That will unlock additional resources and give us flexibility to continue to invest in our future and accelerate advancements in health care.” 

Investment remains at a high level – net financial debt reduced

Despite the volatile market environment, B. Braun invested over one billion euros in new production and research and development projects in FY 2021. Work to build a new medical production facility was started at the company’s headquarters in Melsungen, and great strides were made in further automating the production of infusion pumps. In Germany, B. Braun also invested in expanding and modernizing its syringe production activities. The company continued its investments at the locations in the United States. By purchasing further shares in Schölly Fiberoptic GmbH, Aesculap secured expertise and technological access in the endoscopic imaging business. Avitum continued its construction work on a new plant to produce disinfection products in Sempach, Switzerland.

B. Braun reduced net financial debt again, this figure went down by 3.6 percent in FY 2021, to stand at €2,447.7 million (previous year: €2,537.9 million). The equity ratio also rose from 37.5 percent in the previous year to 40.7 percent in 2021. “Despite the challenging environment, B. Braun is in healthy financial condition,” said B. Braun CFO Dr. Annette Beller. “To continue to grow from our own resources, we plan to continue our strict resource management and will initiate targeted measures to improve our profitability.”