Gerresheimer upbeat amid earnings decline

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German manufacturer of primary packaging for medical and pharmaceutical industries Gerresheimer AG has reported a slight drop in earnings despite increased sales in 2018. 

The company posted a 4.3% year-on-year increase in sales at €1.4 billion last year, helped by a strong fourth quarter and a “clear recovery” in the US. 

“The business with injection vials, ampoules and cartridges in the US saw a clear recovery in 2018,” said the company in its annual financial results 14 Feb. 

Adjusted EBITDA (earnings) at constant exchange rates stood at €308.0m, just under 1% lower than €310.8m in 2017. 

The lower earnings rate was attributed to one-off effects, including the setting up of an advanced technology division to develop smart drug delivery systems. 

In addition to the establishment of the new division, 2018 also saw a plant closure in Kuessnacht, Switzerland, and further reorganisation measures in the medical plastics systems unit. The plant closure, said Gerresheimer, was due to losing a contract for inhalers in Europe. 

In the US, however, the inhaler production business performed “very well”, said Gerresheimer, adding that the performance led to a “follow-up” order for its plant in Horsovsky Tyn, Czech Republic. 

In July 2018, Gerresheimer acquired Swiss-based Sensile Medical, specialised in micro pump technology, which it has incorporated into the advanced technologies division. 

“We have a sound plan for 2019, which entails building up further growth impetus in the medium and long term,” said Dietmar Siemssen, who took the helm at Gerresheimer in November last year. 

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