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 percent year-over-year increase in sales at 1.4 billion euros ($1.58 billion) last year, helped by a strong fourth quarter and a “clear recovery” in the U.S.
“The business with injection vials, ampoules and cartridges in the U.S. saw a clear recovery in 2018,” said the company in its annual financial results Feb. 14.
Adjusted EBITDA (earnings) at constant exchange rates stood at 308 million euros ($348 million), about 1 percent lower than 310.8 million euros ($351.2 million) in 2017.
The lower earnings rate was attributed to one-off effects, including the cost of setting up of an advanced technology division to develop smart drug delivery systems.
In addition to the new division, 2018 also saw a plant closure in Kuessnacht, Switzerland, and further reorganization measures in the medical plastics systems unit. The plant closure, said Gerresheimer, was due to losing a contract for inhalers in Europe.
In the U.S., however, the inhaler production business performed “very well”, Gerresheimer officials said, 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, a specialist 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.