The operating income of EUR 899 million and also the operating return on sales were down on the previous year. This was caused by exchange rates and expenditure for Research, Development and Medicine in the first half-year, which were significantly higher in comparison to the previous year. The main focus was on clinical research at the core of the research-driven pharmaceutical company.
In the first half year, Boehringer Ingelheim's sales grew again stronger as the world pharma market. Also for the whole year, Boehringer Ingelheim expects a continued sales growth stronger as the world pharma market and an improvement of the operating income.
For Dr Alessandro Banchi, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors, the development of sales and income came as expected: "We posted excellent growth in all countries. Business development in the first half of 2008 showed, that Boehringer Ingelheim remains on a healthy growth path and the company continues to outpace the pharma market", Dr Banchi said.
In the first six months of 2008, net sales in the core business Prescription Medicines (PM) increased to EUR 4,354 million, signifying growth of +8.5% in local currencies.
International key brands account for 76% of net sales in the Prescription Medicines business. Spiriva®, for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), achieved further strong growth of +23.8% in the first half of 2008 compared with the previous year, with sales of EUR 976 million. The leading cardiovascular product Micardis®, for the treatment of high blood pressure, attained a marked increase in sales of +11.5% over the previous year to total EUR 603 million. For urological disorders, the company markets Flomax®/Alna® for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. This product achieved growth of +7.3% over the previous year, with net sales of EUR 496 million.
The Consumer Health Care (CHC) business showed positive development with growth of +5.1% in local currencies, to EUR 569 million.
The international CHC key brands, including Dulcolax®, Mucosolvan® and Buscopan®, showed growth of +15% in local currencies.
The Animal Health business made excellent progress, posting growth of +17.4% in local currencies, with sales of EUR 216 million. A key growth driver was the product launch and sales of the Ingelvac® Circoflex® swine vaccine.
Sales in the Biopharmaceuticals business amounted to EUR 259 million in the first six months of 2008.
The results of the company's own Research and Development were extremely gratifying: Pradaxa® (dabigatran etexilate), an innovative oral direct thrombin inhibitor for the prevention of venous thromboembolic disorders following hip or knee replacement surgery in adults, has now been introduced in the North European countries, after Germany and the United Kingdom. It has now also been approved in Canada and New Zealand. The large-scale study programme in the additional indications of prevention of stroke associated with atrial fibrillation and treatment of acute thrombosis is making good progress, while recruitment has begun for a clinical phase II programme in acute coronary artery disease, e.g. unstable angina pectoris.
The flibanserin phase III studies in the indication hypoactive female sexual desire disorder have been completed according to plan and are currently being evaluated.
All phase III studies required for registration of the antidiabetic compound BI 1356 (Ondero®) in the indication type 2 diabetes mellitus have now started worldwide. All the studies are proceeding to plan, so the development programme is expected to be completed on time.
Similarly, good progress has been made with the preparation and introduction of the phase III studies with the two oncology compounds BIBW 2992 (Tovok®) and BIBF 1120 (Vargatef®).
This half-year once again, overall growth allowed for the creation of new jobs. Compared with the same time a year ago, personnel capacity at Boehringer Ingelheim has increased by +1,468 employees, +3.8%, giving a total headcount of 39,819.
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