Operating income, comparable to EBIT, rose to EUR 2.2 billion, despite higher investments planned for research and development. Professor Andreas Barner, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors and responsible for the Corporate Board Division Research & Development and Medicine, expressed his satisfaction with the 2009 business year: "In view of the difficult economic environment, we believe that the success of 2009 confirms that our entrepreneurial approach was right. The success of our innovative medicines for patients and our promising research pipeline give us cause to be optimistic about the future."
Boehringer Ingelheim again invested considerably in its future in 2009, the 125th year in the company's history. Expenditure for the research and development of new medicines and therapies again increased by more than EUR 100 million to EUR 2.2 billion. The company thus directly reinvested 21% of net sales from the Prescription Medicines business in research and development.
"Five therapeutically promising, innovative medicines from our own pipeline have provided very positive data in clinical studies," continued Prof. Barner. "These new medicines in indication areas, some of which are new for our company, will offer patients significant therapeutic progress as well as being important for the future of Boehringer Ingelheim, which is now in its 125th year as an independent, family-owned company."
Financial position - business success and solid funding
As in previous years, high operating cash flow of approximately EUR 2.4 billion (+26%) in 2009 enabled Boehringer Ingelheim to finance its investments in full.
Boehringer Ingelheim again invested the largest portion of the EUR 630 million of investments in tangible assets, primarily in production capacities for new products as well as buildings and technical plants at its research and development sites.
In order to strengthen liquidity and to increase financial and commercial flexibility, Boehringer Ingelheim borrowed a total of EUR 1,300 million in 2009. The main portion resulted from the successful placement of a Schuldscheindarlehen (German private placement) with a volume of EUR 900 million. The funds will secure liquidity and increase the companyâs financial and commercial flexibility.
Hubertus von Baumbach, member of the Board of Managing Directors responsible for the Corporate Board Division Finance and Animal Health, commented: "Boehringer Ingelheim is very well-equipped for the coming years, thanks not least to the good product pipeline. We will offset the sales losses that we expect this year in the USA, due to the expiry of patent protection, by growing the existing portfolio and launching new products. The healthcare system changes, in Germany and the USA, for example, will also have an important effect. During the coming years, the economic development, particularly in the emerging markets, will have a considerable influence on our business."
Innovative preparations drive growth
In its most important and largest business area, Prescription Medicines, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved some 80% of its total net sales in 2009. At more than EUR 10 billion, sales increased by 10.4% on a euro basis. Engelbert Tjeenk Willink, responsible for the Corporate Board Division Pharma Marketing and Sales on the Board of Managing Directors: "This increase is based on the strengths of our strategic core products, in particular SPIRIVA®, ALNA®/FLOMAX®, MICARDIS® and SIFROL®/MIRAPEX®. These medicines alone achieved sales of EUR 6 billion. This corresponds to plus 17.5% within a year."
Sales of SPIRIVA®, Boehringer Ingelheimâs top medication for the treatment of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), increased to EUR 2.4 billion, corresponding to currency-adjusted growth of 14.3%. Measured in euros, growth was actually 16.2%. In its largest sales market alone, the USA, SPIRIVA® generated sales of more than EUR 1 billion for the first time.
ALNA®/FLOMAX®, for treatment of the symptoms of benign prostate hyperplasia, achieved the highest growth of 25.9% currency-adjusted and 31.5% on a euro basis.
MICARDIS®, a hypertension medicine, achieved sales of EUR 1.39 billion and growth of +8.7%, currency-adjusted, and +14.3% on a euro basis. The product has further growth potential, particularly following the results of the ONTARGET® trial with the new approval of MICARDIS® for reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke or death due to cardiovascular diseases.
TWYNSTA®, the fixed combination of the MICARDIS® active ingredient telmisartan with amlodipine, was approved in 2009 in fixed dosage combinations as a single treatment for reducing blood pressure, or as a combination treatment with other blood pressure-reducing active agents. It is already used in the USA in patients who need several active ingredients in order to attain their optimum blood pressure.
SIFROL®/MIRAPEX®, the medicine for treatment of Parkinsonâs disease and restless legs syndrome, generated sales of EUR 801 million. This corresponds to year-on-year growth of +3.6%, currency-adjusted, and +6.6% on a euro basis. In 2009, a new formulation as an extended-release tablet was approved for SIFROL®/MIRAPEX® in Europe. This provides extended, steady active ingredient administration and therefore lower fluctuations in the plasma concentration.
PRADAXA®, from our own research and development, is a direct inhibitor of thrombin, a key enzyme of the coagulation cascade. It prevents the formation of blood clots and is already approved for the primary prevention of venous thrombo-embolism following knee and hip replacement surgery.
"This medicine provided groundbreaking results in the RE-LY® clinical study," reported Engelbert Tjeenk Willink. "For patients and physicians PRADAXA® is a decisive therapeutic innovation. Experts assume that this medication can prevent up to 1 million stroke cases annually."
Again, growth was borne by all the companyâs business regions. The AAA (Asia, Australasia, Africa) region performed particularly well with sales approaching EUR 1.8 billion and growth of 5.6%, currency-adjusted, and 15.2% on a euro basis.
"The fast growing markets such as Brazil, Russia, India and China in particular will offer Boehringer Ingelheim growth options in the future from which we intend to benefit," commented Mr Tjeenk Willink. "We are further increasing our efforts in these interesting markets."
The Consumer Health Care (CHC) business area was hit by the consequences of the financial crisis in 2009. Nevertheless, the business at Boehringer Ingelheim grew in this economic environment, with total sales of EUR 1.3 billion. This equates to growth of 2.7%, currency-adjusted and 5.9% on a euro basis.
Mr Tjeenk Willink explained how the CHC business was gaining strategic importance for Boehringer Ingelheim: "The healthcare systems will rely increasingly on over-the-counter medicines and we expect further shifts away from prescription drug business toward self-medication."
For further information, please visit: