Boehringer Ingelheim: strong growth in Central and Eastern Europe

Vienna, 8. 4. 2008 – The Boehringer Ingelheim Regional Center Vienna, which is responsible for 30 markets in Central and Eastern Europe, in 2007 once again posted strong growth. Revenues were up by 17% overall (EUR 450.6m in 2007 compared with EUR 384.6m in 2006). The Regional Center’s total revenue from human pharmaceuticals rose from EUR 316m to EUR 360m, an increase of 14%, with the largest contributions coming from the Russian Federation, Austria and Poland. Although still a small area of the business, animal health continues to experience very vigorous growth, with net revenues last year 90% higher than in 2006.

There was a slight decline in revenues from human pharmaceuticals in Austria in 2007 in comparison with last year. This is the result of statutory price reductions of up to 60% following the expiration of patents. Boehringer Ingelheim is now eleventh in the league of leading pharmaceutical companies in Austria.

In its role as a cancer research centre for the global Boehringer Ingelheim Group, the Austrian centre has been of particular importance internationally since 2000. EUR 63m was spent on research at the Vienna location in 2007 alone. Several of its research substances have now already entered the development stage. Phase III of the clinical trials of the two furthest advanced development substances will start this year. The first (BIBW 2992, proposed trade name TovokTM) is an active agent which can slow or even stop tumour growth by inhibiting signal transduction, while the second (BIBF 1120, proposed trade name VargatefTM) is a substance which inhibits the development of new blood vessels supplying a tumour.

In biopharmaceuticals, revenues of EUR 84.6m in 2007 showed excellent growth of almost 30% over the previous year. Around 75% of these revenues (EUR 64.8m) came from third-party business, and additional third-party business has also been won in 2008. Klaus Stochl, Country Manager of Boehringer Ingelheim for Austria and Central and Eastern Europe, commented. "As a biopharmaceutical location, Vienna plays an important role in this international group of companies. At its two locations in Vienna and Biberach, Germany, Boehringer Ingelheim is the only company in the world that can provide the entire biotechnical process chain, from genetic engineering, fermentation and formulation to registration and third-party sales."

The Boehringer Ingelheim Regional Center Vienna also plays an important role within the Group in clinical development. Over 50 international clinical studies in several therapeutic areas are currently underway or in preparation for Austria and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

Within the last six years, the company has invested roughly EUR 285m in expanding its facility in Vienna, creating almost 450 new jobs in the process.

60 years of Boehringer Ingelheim in Austria

This high-tech company was founded in 1948 as Boehringer Ingelheim’s first foreign branch, and began life in a Viennese pharmacy under the name of Bender + Co Ges mbH. Besides drugs, the company has also manufactured other products in Austria over the years, including health care supplies and even baking agents. Since these beginnings, Boehringer Ingelheim in Austria has become an important regional centre with responsibility for 30 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, total revenues of EUR 450.6m (EUR 430.9m with third-party customers) and more than 1,200 employees.

Boehringer Ingelheim is an independent, family-owned Group with a long history and a proud corporate culture – its strength has been confirmed in independent workplace surveys. Boehringer Ingelheim is recognised in many countries as one of the best employers to work for. In 2007, a survey in the renowned Science magazine declared Boehringer Ingelheim the top employer in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical sectors.

Boehringer Ingelheim outpaces the market yet again in 2007 Spiriva®, Micardis® and Flomax® are the major products

A host of compounds in the pipeline from own research and development

Ingelheim/Germany, 8. 4. 2008 - Boehringer Ingelheim enjoyed continued success through 2007, its growth outpacing the pharmaceuticals market for the eighth time in succession. As the Company announced at its Annual Press Conference in Ingelheim, turnover rose by +8.8% in local currency (+3.6% in euro terms) to almost EUR 11 billion (2006: EUR 10.5 billion). At EUR 2.1 billion, operating income - comparable to the EBIT - is at the previous year`s level. This corresponds to an operative margin (ratio of operating income to net sales) of 19.2%. Income after tax was a good EUR 1.8 billion, signifying an increase of +4.8% over the previous year. The number of employees worldwide rose by almost 1,400 to around 39,800 (an increase of +3.6%). For 2008, Boehringer Ingelheim also expects in local currencies a high single-digit net sales growth and thus slightly above the market level.

Dr Alessandro Banchi, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors of Boehringer Ingelheim and Head of the Corporate Board Division of Pharma Marketing and Sales, said: "We can look back once again on a successful year for Boehringer Ingelheim with continued growth in 2007. Our products are benefiting patients, our product pipeline is well equipped and our workforce is highly motivated."

At the same time, the Company faced two major challenges in 2007: firstly, the strength of the euro against the US dollar and the Japanese yen and secondly, a sharp fall in net sales compared to 2006 for the product Mobic®, the US patent of which expired in 2006. Overall, a fall in net sales of EUR 340 million for this product had to be offset. In addition, currency effects resulted in a loss of more than 5% on the previous year`s turnover.

The fact that Boehringer Ingelheim successfully achieved growth of +3.6% in euro terms despite these challenges, highlights the excellent dynamic growth of its product portfolio.

According to calculations by the healthcare information service, IMS, Boehringer Ingelheim grew by +7.1%, thus once again outpacing the pharmaceutical market which experienced growth of +6.0%. In 2007, Boehringer Ingelheim again secured a stable market share of almost 2%, ranking 15th among the international pharmaceutical companies.

Our pharmaceutical products provide patients with real therapeutic benefits In 2007, the Company`s prescription medicines again enjoyed a very high degree of acceptance, resulting in a significant improvement in their respective market position. All core products achieved a significant rise in sales in 2007 and have further potential for future growth.

Leading the way is Spiriva® (tiotropium bromide), the world`s foremost drug for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sales of which rose by +35% in local currency terms to just under EUR 1.8 billion. Also, after registration in the EU in autumn 2007, the Respimat® Soft Mist™ Inhaler with Spiriva® was launched in Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Market launches in more countries are to follow in 2008. The great demand for this product among patients and doctors demonstrates that with its COPD drug in an innovative inhaler Boehringer Ingelheim has achieved a further major breakthrough.

Micardis® (telmisartan), a particularly effective and well tolerated angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) with the longest duration of action in this drug class and used for the treatment of essential high blood pressure, achieved net sales of EUR 1,123 million as well as growth of +23% in local currency terms. Flomax®/Alna® for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia achieved net sales of EUR 1,020 million and growth of +19% in local currency terms. In addition, Sifrol®/Mirapex® (pramipexole) for the symptomatic treatment of Parkinson`s disease and for the treatment of moderate to severe cases of restless legs syndrome achieved net sales of EUR 644 million euro and growth of +26% in local currency terms. And also Aggrenox® (dipyridamole extended release/ASA), a medication for secondary stroke prevention, generated gratifying net sales of EUR 278 million and a growth of +32% in local currency terms.

Boehringer Ingelheim`s business areas Business in the most important strategic business area, Human Pharmaceuticals, Prescription Medicines accounts for 79% of the total net sales of Boehringer Ingelheim. Here, net sales rose in 2007 by almost +10% in local currency terms (+4.2% in euro terms) to over EUR 8.6 billion, following adjustment to take account of the currency component. The self-medication business increased by +11.7% in local currency terms (+7.2% in euro terms) to EUR 1.14 billion.

Total net sales of the Industrial Customer business (Biopharmaceuticals, Pharmaceuticals Production and Pharma Chemicals) amounted to EUR 739 million and thus below the previous year`s figures (-6.5% after currency adjustment, -8.6% in euro terms). In addition to the effects of exchange rates, the fall in net sales in the biopharmaceuticals segment is also partly due to the fact that planned technical upgrades of the older of the two Biberach plants rendered the plant inoperable for several months.

Boehringer Ingelheim`s strategic business areas also include Animal Health. As a leading international supplier of animal health products, Boehringer Ingelheim was able to continue its pleasing growth of recent years with an increase in net sales of +13.1% in local currency (+9.1% in euro terms) to EUR 408 million. Steady growth has been seen in porcine vaccines, in particular. Boehringer Ingelheim is thus well on the way to becoming the market leader in the porcine vaccines segment.

The growth of Boehringer Ingelheim in 2007 was evident in all three regions. Last year, North and South America was again the region with the strongest turnover of the company, where net sales exceeded EUR 5.4 billion (2007: EUR 5.3 billion). In spite of stagnating development in euro terms, the USA remains the principal driving force for growth and, with its net sales of EUR 4.5 billion (approx. +12% in local currency terms), made the largest contribution to global net sales and profits.

The strongest growth amongst the regions was achieved in Europe with net sales of EUR 3.6 billion (+ 8.6% in local currency terms) and a share of total net sales of just under 33%. The strongest country in this region was once again Germany with total net sales of EUR 853 million, although prescription medicines accounted for only EUR 444 million of this figure.

The Asia, Australia, Africa (AAA) region achieved net sales of EUR 1.9 billion and accounted for 17.5% of the worldwide net sales of Boehringer Ingelheim. With net sales of EUR 1.2 billion, Japan was the strongest country in this region.

Exchange rate fluctuations also significantly influenced growth in the AAA region; for this reason, net sales in euro managed only a slight increase on last year`s figure.

Professor Muff highlighted the very solid financial figures and the Company`s desire to secure its long-term independence as a research-driven pharmaceutical company in an increasingly high-risk environment. "Lasting independence is only possible if the critical factors, i.e. liquidity, profitability and potential for success of the development pipeline, actually guarantee financial security both now and in the future. In this regard, we see good prospects for our company in the medium to long term", Professor Muff said.

Yet it was also necessary, he said, to keep mindful of long-term trends and increasing risks for the pharmaceutical industry, particularly the incentive systems set up by the competent authorities to launch costly research and development of new drugs that represent advances in treatment.

Our employees – the key requirement for future success Dr Banchi and Professor Muff emphasised that the Company attaches particular value to its employees who are the causal force behind the Company`s innovation and thus the key prerequisite for its future development. They said that it is a special pleasure for Boehringer Ingelheim to take first place in the 2007 Top Employers Survey conducted by the journal Science and to thus be deemed the most attractive employer for science professionals in Europe and the USA.

Since 2003, the number of employees worldwide has increased by approximately 5,500, or +16%. In Germany alone, 1,700 new employees were recruited, corresponding to an increase of +17%. The increase in employee numbers also demonstrates the continued pledge to monitor and improve internal processes and structures. One particular challenge - and also a challenge for Boehringer Ingelheim - was said to be the demographic development in many countries which is being acted upon with relevant measures as part of the broad-based initiative, "Perspective Demography".

New product launches and a host of products in the pipeline – securing the future Dr Banchi sees positive prospects for the future, with 2008 being a particularly important year for the further development of the Company.

End of March 2008, Pradaxa®, the first oral anticoagulant from the class of direct thrombin inhibitors and a product from Boehringer Ingelheim’s own R&D, was successfully approved by the European Commission in its first indication for the prevention of venous thromboembolic events in adults after elective hip and knee replacement surgery. A further four indications are currently in clinical development. "We are convinced that in the future, Pradaxa® will be important for even more patients and doctors for a variety of conditions and after more than 40 years of vitamin K antagonists being the gold standard, it will change current treatment guidelines for the prevention of venous thromboembolism," Dr Banchi said.

2008 will also be marked by the publication of various landmark studies (Phase IV studies). The first study to be published were the results of the ONTARGET™ study on the protection of cardiovascular events, which showed that telmisartan (Micardis®) is as protective as the current gold standard ramipril, but significantly better tolerated in a broad high-risk cardiovascular population. Telmisartan (Micardis ®) is the first and only angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) to have proven cardiovascular protective benefits beyond blood pressure reduction in patients with high cardiovascular risks.

Other important results are expected in 2008 for the PRoFESS® study involving Aggrenox® and for the UPLIFT® study involving Spiriva®. "Positive results from the studies mean new medical findings as well as widened and new indications for our drugs, thereby benefiting the patients," said Dr Banchi.

In addition, several innovative substances from our own R&D for various therapeutic areas have progressed to the next clinical development phase. Clinical phase III includes two substances from oncology, one substance for diabetes type II and one substance in development for pre-menopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

Our own R&D is also enhanced by promising cooperative alliances and licensing agreements with other companies. In 2007, over EUR 1.7 billion was invested in research, development and medicine, representing an increase on the previous year of just under +10%. Research spending thus accounted for more than 19% of sales in prescription medicines.

Dr Banchi: "We are very optimistic as our financial basis is sound and our prospects are encouraging. And with the forthcoming new product launches and our products in the pipeline, we have once again proved our company`s power of innovation and potential for success."

Media Contact

Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH

Corporate Division Communications Dr Bernd Mann Binger Strasse 173 55216 Ingelheim GERMANY

Phone: +49/6132/77 92300

Fax: +49/6132/77 6601


The sender takes full responsibility for the content of this news item. Content may include forward-looking statements which, at the time they were made, were based on expectations of future events. Readers are cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements.

As a life sciences organization based in Vienna, would you like us to promote your news and events? If so, please send your contributions to news(at)