Ladies and Gentlemen,
The financial year 2011 was a good year for us. We are delighted to have achieved all of the business objectives that we announced at the beginning of last year. Revenues at constant exchange rates increased by 7.8 % to around EUR 1,095m. The adjusted EBITDA margin was 19.9 %. Net income after tax increased by 16.5 % to EUR 54.4m and earnings per share rose by 16.7 % over the previous year to EUR 1.61.
Global economic developments in 2011 presented a very different picture. Major issues such as the eurozone debt crisis, political upheavals in many Arab nations and the earthquake in Japan have put a damper on economic development and caused the global economy to lose momentum. Nevertheless, this turbulent environment did not prevent us from taking our Company a decisive step forward. Revenues in the pharma and healthcare sector continued to develop positively. There was growth in demand in western nations for intelligent drug delivery systems which allow patients to safely and reliably self-administer medications. In the emerging markets of South America and Asia, demand has risen for high-quality pharmaceutical primary packaging products, particularly for generics. Our Plastic Systems Division recorded some extraordinarily high growth rates in the last financial year.
The cosmetics market also developed so positively in 2011 that we were able to achieve very good growth in revenues of our high-quality glass cosmetic packaging products. This drove up production capacity utilization in the Moulded Glass Division to a high level. Global demand for laboratory glassware was moderate, leading to the correspondingly moderate development of our smallest division, the Life Science Research Division.
Our operating performance provides us with a strong basis for profitable growth and once again proves the company’s reliability and consistency. Our success is attributable to the commitment, competence, untiring efforts and determination to succeed which is driving our 10,000 employees around the world.
In spring 2011, we made the right decision at the right time to commence group refinancing earlier than scheduled. As a result, we now have long-term financial stability and additional scope for further growth. Another important financial consideration is that we generate cash flow surpluses from our operations. These two factors allow us to continue making investments. Our investments in organic growth include the extension of our production facilities in the Plastic Systems Division and the investment into a fourth production line for glass syringes. In 2011, we also continued our successful expansion strategy with the acquisition of the Brazilian company Vedat. We quickly and profitably integrated Vedat in our operating units and are now the leading provider of pharmaceutical plastic packaging products and closures in the fast-growing South American market.
As a result of the positive development of our business in 2011, we propose to pay a dividend of EUR 0.60 per share to our shareholders. This dividend is payable tax-free due to Gerresheimer AG’s tax situation.
In 2012, we will be focusing on achieving further profitable growth. We expect the positive development in pharmaceutical primary packaging business, with products such as ampoules and vials, to continue. We will be investing the major part of our approximately EUR 100m investment budget in the extension of our glass and plastics medical device operations. These devices are products which facilitate the safe and reliable self-administration of medications. Precision, convenience and design enhance patient well-being and provide our customers with clear competitive advantages. We are aiming to achieve further growth in this segment so that we can remain on course as a successful partner to the pharma and healthcare industry in 2012. We are looking into options for acquisitions as well in order to supplement our product portfolio and to drive regional expansion to achieve further growth.
By “healthy growth“, the topic of this year’s annual report, we predominantly mean profitable growth. Yet there’s more to it than the profit aspect. The words “healthy growth“ also represent our commitment to improving the health and well-being of people around the world through the growth and expansion of our business. This is a very interesting topic that we will be presenting to you in more detail in the following annual report, taking the growth regions of North America, Europe and the emerging markets as examples.
For us, healthy growth means:
- Investments in organic growth
- Extension of our leadership in Europe and North America
- Stronger expansion in emerging markets
- Continuation of our acquisition strategy
Our employees’ personal commitment, determination and talent have made a key contribution to our success, which is why we would like to say a special thank you to them. We would also like to thank our shareholders, customers and partners for their confidence in us and their support over the last financial year. We appreciate our special relationship with you and look forward to continuing our dialog with you in the year ahead. In 2012, we intend to drive our company’s progress and further consolidate our position as leading global partner to the pharma and healthcare industry. This should result in increasing value of our company.
With best regards,
|Uwe Röhrhoff||Hans-Jürgen Wiecha||Dr. Max Raster||Andreas Schütte|