"Growing Together" is the motto for our corporate strategy 2020, the second phase of which we have now entered. Three goals describe the direction of B. Braun in the coming years: system partnership, collaboration and profitability. Together we have made great strides towards meeting these goals, but it is also clear to us that further effort will be needed to achieve our self-set goals.
We do make a promise to our customers. In keeping with our "Sharing Expertise" philosophy, we want to develop effective solutions and create innovative standards in the field of health care. Only through this sustained commitment will we be able to continue to create demand for B. Braun products and services, and continue to grow organically as a family-owned business, as we did in 2017.
When we refer to innovation, we are not just referring to our product portfolio, but also to manufacturing and work processes. In 2017, we achieved a number of important milestones: we launched new manufacturing operations in Japan and Indonesia; introduced products such as the compact plus infusion pump to the market; and consistently pursued digitization processes, which we view as part of our ongoing evolution and as important means of ensuring our long-term competitiveness.
We also embarked on new investment projects. In Romania, we are planning a new site for production, research and development, and distribution. In addition, we will continue investing in the German locations and in our major sites in Malaysia, Spain, Hungary, and the USA. Our network of dialysis centers also continues to grow and we now serve more than 29,000 patients worldwide in our own facilities. All of these significant investments were made to secure the future of our company. At the same time, they are also a reason that although we were able to reach our sales targets in the past fiscal year, we did not manage to meet our planned earnings growth. For us, this is motivation to strengthen these efforts in 2018.
B. Braun’s annual report focuses on a real life story. In this year’s annual report, you will read about Barb Dooley from Eagle Grove, Iowa, USA as she shares her personal story. You will learn what is important to this retired nurse: the affection, appreciation, support and kindness she experiences from her family, friends and around her hometown – where she often volunteers her time and talents to give back to the community. "I want to help people live the best life they can," she says. This is what Barb and B. Braun have in common.
61,583 B. Braun employees are the driving force behind our continued success. They work hard every day to protect and improve the health of people all over the world. They contribute to a higher quality of life and support people like Barb Dooley in their well-being. In this annual report you will learn how we do it. I wish you an interesting and exciting read.
With best regards,
Prof. Dr. Heinz-Walter Große
Chairman of the Management Board of B. Braun Melsungen AG
Prof. Dr. Heinz-Walter Große
Anna Maria Braun LL.M.
Dr. Joachim Schulz
Caroll H. Neubauer LL.M