Gerresheimer expects pharmaceutical packaging sales to grow but says performance of “cyclical” cosmetics and life science businesses is more difficult to predict.
The German firm made the comments after revealing that revenue for the 12 months to November 30, 2009 had dropped 6 per cent to €1bn on “slight growth” of its core pharma business and falling life science research and cosmetics sales.
On a segment-by-segment basis, Gerreshimer' plastic systems division was the best performer . The unit, which makes drug packaging and delivery systems, generated revenue of €285.5m, up 5 per cent on fiscal 2008. This does not include revenues derived from the technical plastic systems business that it sold to fellow German firm FBH Group in July.
Gerresheimer’s tubular glass unit, which makes syringes, vials, ampoules and pharma cartridges, was the only other business segment that grew over the period, with sales increasing a modest 0.3 per cent to €3.2m.
Revenues from the firm’s remaining units, moulded glass and life science research, were down, falling 7.7 per cent to €308m and €5.8m respectively.
For 2010 the firm said that while it “expects growth for the pharma market, the outlook for the cosmetics and life science research is more difficult.” It went on to forecast a 2 to 4 per cent increase in sales and an improved operating margin.
However, rather than dwelling on its performance in “the economically challenging environment of the past year,” Gerresheimer highlighted the moves it made to bolster its manufacturing infrastructure and global foot print.
CEO Axel Herberg, who will step down to join the Blackstone Group in June, said that Gerresheimer had “managed to create the conditions for future growth through targeted investments in our product portfolio and new plants throughout the world.”
And, a quick glance at recent headlines supports Dr Herberg’s argument. Ion June, for example, Gerresheimer opened a new glass packaging plant in, China , following this a few months later with a new plastics facility in Spain and an R&D centre in the US.
More recently, the firm set up an insulin pen manufacturing facility in Sao Paulo, Brazil .