All divisions contributed to the positive sales development of the Group.
Melsungen/Morschen. The B. Braun Group increased its sales by 12.9 percent over the fiscal year to 6,130 million euros (previous year: 5,430 million euros). EBITDA rose by 10.0 percent to 878 million euros (previous year: 798 million euros). "We are very satisfied with the economic development of the last fiscal year. We are above the forecasted corridor for sales growth and have also significantly improved operating profit," said Chairman of the Management Board Prof. Heinz-Walter Grosse during the financial statement press conference on Wednesday, March 23rd, when he presented the key data for the 2015 fiscal year together with Chief Financial Officer Dr. Annette Beller.
Germany was once again stable, with 3.6 percent sales growth, as was Europe (excluding Germany) with a growth of 4.1 percent. The Asia-Pacific region benefited from changes in exchange rates and increased sales by 23.4 percent to over a billion euros for the first time. A strong US dollar resulted in 31.0 percent sales growth in euros for the North American region. By contrast, given the in some cases substantial declines of its local currencies against the euro, the Latin American region posted no more than a moderate 4.8 percent growth rate. The Africa and Middle East regions continued their strong performance with 15.2 percent growth.
Increases in all divisions
All divisions contributed to the positive sales development of the Group. The Hospital Care Division increased sales by 13.0 percent to 2,856 million euros (previous year: 2,528 million euros). The clinical nutrition and infusion devices sectors achieved strong growth. Development of business in the US was very satisfactory. In particular, the Duplex infusion system as well as individual drug admixtures (CAPS) had the effect of boosting sales and earnings growth there.
In the reporting year, the Aesculap Division reported sales of 1,663 million euros (previous year: 1,498 million euros), up 11.0 percent from the year before. The major growth markets included China, the USA, Russia, Germany and Poland. Sales growth was particularly posted in surgical instruments and endoscopy products.
The Outpatient Market (OPM) Division posted sales of 741 million euros (previous year: 644 million euros), up 15.0 percent over the year before. The wound care and disinfection segments posted strong growth. Growth was especially strong for infusion products in the USA. But sales were also strong in the reporting year in the Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions.
The B. Braun Avitum Division grew by 14.7 percent and sales increased to 846 million euros (previous year: 738 million euros). The division posted good sales development in the product business segment, whereby China, Russia, the USA and Mexico were the key growth drivers. The B. Braun dialysis centers posted very strong performance worldwide. This division has successfully expanded through the acquisition of additional dialysis centers, which had a positive impact on sales in the reporting year.
High level of investment in securing the future
In 2015, B. Braun invested 1,049 million euros (previous year: 1,160 million euros) in the expansion of production capacities, as well as in the research and development of new products and processes, and secured market shares in strategically important business fields with selected acquisitions.
For example, the Hospital Care division further expanded its global capacities for large-volume infusion solutions in Spain, Indonesia, Malaysia and the USA and invested in the production of containers for small-volume injection solutions in Berlin. A new production building in Japan creates additional capacity in regional anesthesia as well as improving earthquake safety. The renovation of the Aesculap division's headquarters in Tuttlingen is progressing through additional investments. The Out Patient Market (OPM) division is expanding its production capacity, adding a third production line for pen needles and making investments in France. The construction of a new building for individual nutritional solutions in Melsungen is already far along. B. Braun Avitum is adding additional market share through the acquisition of Dialyse Trainings-Zentren GmbH (DTZ) in Germany and additional dialysis centers in selected countries.
The B. Braun Group had 55,719 employees as of December 31, 2015. This is up 3.2 percent from the previous year, in which the number of employees was 54,017. In Germany, the number of employees climbed by 4.5 percent to 14,230 (previous year: 13,616). The main reason for this increase was the continued expansion in production as well as research and development. The Group also added new distribution companies in addition to the acquisition and formation of new companies.
In Brazil, Germany, Malaysia, Poland, Switzerland and Vietnam, there are currently 1,092 (previous year: 1.149) young people in training, 115 of whom (previous year: 111) are combining their training with a course of studies in Germany. A total of 332 (previous year: 300) trainees successfully completed their training at the aforementioned locations; 261 apprentices (previous year: 224) were accepted.
"An important theme of the past fiscal year was our Strategy 2020. As a system partner for healthcare, we want to understand the problems of our customers even better and develop compatible approaches to solutions in collaboration with them. We will continue to follow this path consistently," said Prof. Grosse.
B. Braun expects the Group to post sales and earnings growth in the 2016 fiscal year. According to Prof. Grosse, sales growth will be between four and six percent, assuming exchange rates remain constant.