Schott has reported a 15 per cent growth rate for its pharma packaging business, three times higher than the growth of the overall pharma industry.
Mainz, Germany-based Schott, which is among the world leaders in glass production, said the division helped drive increases in both earnings and sales in the 2005/06 fiscal year.
Schott's total sales figure for the fiscal year was €2.233 billion, representing an increase of 19 per cent, while earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) was recorded at €193 million, a 34 per cent increase. The rise in EBIT was traced back to Schott's core businesses - pharmaceutical packaging is part of this group.
One of Schott's leading sources of revenue is the manufacturing or primary pharmaceutical packaging, with 500 production lines and ten manufacturing lines globally. On an average year, Schott produces more than six billion vials, syringes, ampoules, cartridges and other articles made of polymers or tubing glass.
To stay at the top in this highly competitive market, Schott says it combines expertise in manufacturing pharmaceutical packaging with the production of pharmaceutical tubing. The company has a production capacity of more than 120,000 tons.
The pharmaceutical packaging unit has been driven during the past couple of years by the biotechnology and generic sectors, while price pressure by national health authorities has been a brake on the business, Christa Fritschi, marketing manager pharmaceutical packaging at Schott, told In-Pharmatechnologist.com.
"We succeeded in meeting all of our ambitious goals. In fact, in some areas, we even exceeded them," said Professor Udo Ungeheuer, Schott's chairman.
Investments of €313 million (28 per cent more than 2004/2005) were made in key areas, such as specialised glasses and related high technology materials, and a modernisation programme that was initiated two years ago was continued.
"A number of strategic measures were initiated to help us build a stronger foundation for improving our competitive position and, thus, achieve continued growth," explained Prof Ungeheuer.
Schott has its a manufacturing and sales presence in 38 countries, most recently added Czech Republic, Malaysia and Dubai to their portfolio. Schott was the first international manufacturer to establish a production site for pharmaceutical glass packing in China, which was sought after by Chinese drug manufacturers.
A press conference with the Schott Group's annual results will be held on March 8, 2007.