Merck KGaA saw record-breaking levels of revenue in 2011 as sales topped €10 billion for the first time.
Revenue was up 10.6% to €10.2 billion following the 2010 acquisition of the Millipore Corporation and growth in the Group’s four divisions – Merck Serono, Merck Millipore, Consumer Healthcare and Performance Materials.
Karl-Ludwig Kley, Chairman of Merck’s Executive Board, said the Group delivered a “good operational result in a challenging year” but confirmed that despite topping €10bn in revenue job cuts would still be made.
The company revealed last month it plans to cut jobs across all businesses and regions under new efficiency plans it aims will reduce costs and exploit new growth opportunities. (Read here)
Mr Kley says that the efficiency plans recognise the “competitive and market pressures” Merck faces in the future.
Despite the record breaking levels of revenue, overall operating result was down 11.5% to €985 million and net profits decreased 2.3% to 617 million Euros.
Sales increased by 17% to €2.78 billion and gross margin rose by 8.4% to €7.4bn. However, marketing and selling expenses were up 7.1% to €2.39bn and royalty, licence and commissioning expenses increased after increased sales of Rebif and Erbitux. R&D costs also jumped to €1.5bn after expensive late-stage clinical trials by Merck Serono.
Total revenues of Merck Serono increased 2.9% to €5.92bn compared to €5.75bn in 2010, which was described as a “solid performance” by the Group. Global sales of Rebif topped €1.69bn after increased demand in the US. Targeted cancer treatment Erbitux recorded sales of €855 million due to strong growth in emerging markets.
In Merck’s other divisions, Merck Millipore almost increased sales by half (48%) to €2.39 billion after growth in North America, Latin America and Asia. Its consumer health care arm saw revenue increase 5.1% to €484 million in 2011, and its Performance Materials division increased revenue slightly by 1% to €1.46bn.
The Group’s Executive Board now expects total revenues to increase slightly in 2012 and 2013.