B. Braun Melsungen AG (B. Braun Melsungen), a Germany-based medical devices company, has reported net sales of EUR3.79 million for the full year of 2008, up 6%, compared with the net sales of EUR3.57 million in the previous year-end. It has reported interim profit of EUR390.6 million for the full year of 2008, compared with the interim profit of EUR377.5 million in the previous year-end.
Summary of the year’s figures:
EBITDA: EUR545.8 million (+1.8%)
Cash flow (operating): EUR364.3 million (+22.2%)
Number of employees (reference date 31.12.2008): 38,132 worldwide (+4.5%), 10,513 in Germany (+3.8%)
Equity capital: EUR1,389.8 million (+10.7%)
Equity Ratio: 37.5 %
“B. Braun adopted a policy geared towards organic growth, and, as a result, the company was largely unaffected by upheavals in the financial markets in 2008 and was able to continue building upon the development trend of the past years”, said Ludwig Georg Braun, chairman of the management board. “However, the record investments of EUR170 million made in Germany in 2008 have led to higher interest expenses.”
Due to those higher interest expenses, to the development on the currency markets as well as to higher prices for energy and raw materials an increase in the consolidated annual net profit could not be achieved. Profit before taxes fell 5.0% to EUR268.8 million (previous year: EUR283.0 million). The satisfactory consolidated annual net profit was EUR185.0 million (previous year: EUR217.7 million).
Business performance in the divisions
All divisions contributed to the increase in sales. The Hospital Care Division, provider of products for clinical care and inpatient therapy, was hit relatively hard by the unfavorable exchange rates. Sales increased 3.7% to EUR1,764.7 million, but the division was not able to achieve growth rates it had in previous years. Large volume parenterals (LVPs) and IV catheters proved to be particularly successful product segments. The Vasofix Safety and Introcan Safety IV catheters stand out in particular. The self-activating clip technology shields the needle tip immediately upon its withdrawal, protecting patients and nursing staff.
Growth in the Aesculap Division, active in the fields of surgery and interventional cardiology, remained on track in fiscal year 2008, with sales climbing 7.3% to EUR1,098.2 million. Sales across Europe performed particularly well. The main sales drivers continue to be surgical instruments, sutures, and the orthotraumatology segment.
Sales in the OPM Division, provider of products and services meeting the needs of patients outside of the hospital setting including chronically ill or long-term care patients, grew 4.9% to EUR495.8 million. The highest increase in sales was again in the European market. OPM achieved increased sales particularly with products for parenteral nutrition, wound care management, and hygiene management.
The B. Braun Avitum Division, service provider in the field of extracorporeal blood treatment, increased sales by 14.6% to EUR402.7 million, with continued growth across the entire product range. B. Braun Avitum is focusing on Europe. Both sales of dialysis machines and the operation of dialysis centers progressed well last year. The number of dialysis patients treated by B. Braun Avitum rose to over 8,000.
Research and development expenditures increased
In order to further enhance the company’s innovative capability, B. Braun completed significant research and development projects in all four divisions and increased research and development expenditures by 12.1%. The company plans to increase its efforts by 10 to 15% in 2009.
Investment program continued
B. Braun continued the multi-year investment program, which was launched in 2007. The largest single projects include the beginning of construction of the new facility for the manufacture of clinical nutrition solutions (LIFE Nutrition), and the expansion of the production plant for IV sets, both in Melsungen, Germany. Investments into property, plant and equipment rose 35.2% from EUR324.2 million in 2007 to EUR438.3 million in 2008. The purchase of Gematek, a manufacturer of parenterals in Tver (Russia), has enabled B. Braun to improve the good market position in LVPs.
Workforce continues to grow
B. Braun’s international growth is also reflected in the increasing number of staff it employs. At the start of 2009, the Group had 38,132 employees (including apprentices, but excluding interns and undergraduates), 4.5% more than a year earlier. In Germany the number of employees increased by 3,8 per cent to reach the level of 10,513.
B. Braun will continue pursuing its strategy of sustainable organic growth in 2009 and beyond. “This strategy has proven extraordinarily robust considering the difficult conditions in 2008. We therefore do not believe that any fundamental are necessary, despite the likelihood of a further deterioration in the economic situation”, said Ludwig Georg Braun. “We believe that we will achieve similar growth in 2009.“