Fresenius reports excellent sales and earnings growth - Raises outlook

(PresseBox) (Bad Homburg, ) .
- Sales €11.8 billion, +13% at actual rates, +10% in constant currency
- EBIT €1.8 billion, +19% at actual rates, +15% in constant currency
- Net income[1] €495 million, +35% at actual rates, +30% in constant currency
- Strong sales and earnings growth in all business segments
- Group EBIT margin reaches 15%
- Net debt/EBITDA ratio improved to 2.7
- All business segments raise or fully confirm 2010 guidance
- 2010 Group outlook[1] raised

Ulf Mark Schneider, CEO of Fresenius SE: "All business segments continued their strong first-half sales and earnings growth and achieved excellent results in the third quarter. We are particularly pleased with the development of our 2008 acquisition APP Pharmaceuticals and expect the company to be accretive to Group EPS in 2010. The Group's EBIT margin for the first three quarters increased to 15%. We are on track to reach our mid-term 15% stretch EBIT margin target for the full year 2010."

Outlook for 2010 raised

Based on the Group's excellent financial results in the first three quarters, Fresenius now expects net income[2] to increase by ~20% in constant currency in 2010. Previously, the Company expected net income[2] to increase by 10% to 15% in constant currency. Sales in constant currency are now projected to increase by 8% to 9%. The previous guidance was 7% to 9% in constant currency.

The earnings outlook already includes expected one-time expenses of €18 million to €20 million pre-tax which Fresenius Kabi plans to invest in further efficiency improvements outside of North America in 2010, of which €8 million are included in the third-quarter results.

The Group plans to invest ~5% of sales in property, plant and equipment.

The net debt/EBITDA ratio is expected to reach a level below 3.0.

Strong sales growth

Group sales increased by 13% at actual rates and by 10% in constant currency to €11,821 million (Q1-3/2009: €10,429 million). Organic sales growth was 9%. Acquisitions contributed a further 1%. Currency translation had a positive effect of 3%.

Sales growth in the business segments was as follows.(see attachment)

In Europe, sales grew by 8% in constant currency, with organic sales growth contributing 7%. In North America, sales grew by 11% in constant currency. Organic sales growth was 10%. Organic growth rates in the emerging markets reached 11% in Latin America and 7% in Asia-Pacific. Organic sales growth in Asia-Pacific was impacted by the volatility of Fresenius Vamed's project business.

Excellent earnings growth

Group EBITDA increased by 17% at actual rates and by 13% in constant currency to €2,244 million (Q1-3/2009: €1,911 million). Group EBIT increased by 19% at actual rates and by 15% in constant currency to €1,776 million (Q1-3/2009: €1,496 million). The EBIT margin increased by 70 basis points to 15.0% (Q1-3/2009: 14.3%). All business segments contributed to the excellent earnings growth.

Group net interest improved to -€424 million (Q1-3/2009: -€439 million).

The other financial result was -€98 million and includes valuation changes of the fair redemption value of the Mandatory Exchangeable Bonds (MEB) of -€131 million and the Contingent Value Rights (CVR) of €33 million. Both are non-cash items.

The Group tax rate[3] was 32.2% (Q1-3/2009: 30.8%). The tax rate in the first three quarters of 2009 was influenced by a revaluation of a tax claim at Fresenius Medical Care.

Noncontrolling interest increased to €421 million (Q1-3/2009: €363 million), of which 94% was attributable to the noncontrolling interest in Fresenius Medical Care.

Group net income[4] increased by 35% at actual rates and by 30% in constant currency to €495 million (Q1-3/2009: €368 million). Earnings per ordinary share increased to €3.06 and earnings per preference share to €3.07 (Q1-3/2009: ordinary share €2.28; preference share €2.29). This represents an increase of 34% for both share classes.

Net income[5] (including special items) grew to €435 million, or €2.69 per ordinary share and €2.70 per preference share.

Continued investments in growth

The Fresenius Group spent €494 million on property, plant and equipment (Q1-3/2009: €442 million). Acquisition spending was €223 million (Q1-3/2009: €186 million).

Strong cash flow

Operating cash flow increased by 20% to €1,346 million (Q1-3/2009: €1,120 million), mainly driven by strong earnings growth and tight working capital management. The cash flow margin improved to 11.4% (Q1-3/2009: 10.7%). Net capital expenditure was €491 million (Q1-3/2009: €446 million). Free cash flow before acquisitions and dividends improved by 27% to €855 million (Q1-3/2009: €674 million). Free cash flow after acquisitions and dividends[6] was €348 million (Q1-3/2009: €251 million).

Solid balance sheet structure

The Fresenius Group's total assets grew by 9% to €22,734 million (Dec. 31, 2009: €20,882 million). In constant currency, the increase was 5%. Current assets increased by 19% at actual rates and by 15% in constant currency to €6,392 million (Dec. 31, 2009: €5,363 million). Non-current assets grew by 5% at actual rates and by 1% in constant currency to €16,342 million (Dec. 31, 2009: €15,519 million).

Total shareholders' equity increased by 11% at actual rates to €8,521 million (Dec. 31, 2009: €7,652 million). In constant currency, total shareholders' equity grew by 6%. The equity ratio improved by 90 basis points to 37.5% (Dec. 31, 2009: 36.6%).

Group debt grew by 4% at actual rates to €8,615 million (Dec. 31, 2009: €8,299 million). In constant currency, Group debt remained close to the previous year's level. Net debt increased by 1% to €7,955 million (Dec. 31, 2009: €7,879 million). At constant currency, net debt was reduced by 3%.

Due to the strong earnings growth and cash flow development, the net debt/EBITDA ratio improved to 2.70 as of September 30, 2010 (Dec. 31, 2009: 3.01). For the net debt/EBITDA leverage calculation, net debt is translated at the currency spot rates as of September 30, whereas EBITDA is translated at the average exchange rates of the last twelve months. At identical exchange rates for net debt and EBITDA, the ratio was at 2.71. Within only two years, Fresenius has strongly improved its leverage ratio. In Q3 2008, immediately following the acquisition of APP Pharmaceuticals, the ratio was 3.7.

Number of employees increased

As of September 30, 2010, Fresenius employed 136,458 people (Dec. 31, 2009: 130,510). This is an increase of 5%.

Fresenius Biotech Fresenius Biotech de velops innovative therapies with trifunctional antibodies for the treatment of cancer. In the field of polyclonal antibodies, Fresenius Biotech has successfully marketed ATG-Fresenius S for many years. ATG-Fresenius S is an immunosuppressive agent used to prevent and treat graft rejection following organ transplantation.

Fresenius Biotech reported sales of approximately €2.1 million with the trifunctional antibody Removab (catumaxomab) in the first three quarters of 2010. As of October 8, 2010, the French Ministry of Health has included Removab in the list of drugs authorized for hospital use. The listing ensures reimbursement of this innovative antibody indicated for the treatment of malignant ascites in hospitals.

In October, Removab was awarded with this year's Galenus von Pergamon Prize in the "Specialist Care" category. The prize honors research and innovative drug development in Germany.

In the first three quarters of 2010, Fresenius Biotech's EBIT was -€21 million (Q1-3/2009: -€32 million). For 2010, Fresenius Biotech confirms its guidance of an EBIT between -€35 million and -€40 million.

[1] Net income attributable to Fresenius SE; adjusted for the effects of mark-to-market accounting of the Mandatory Exchangeable Bonds (MEB) and the Contingent Value Rights (CVR) related to the acquisition of APP Pharmaceuticals. Both are non-cash items.
[2] Net income attributable to Fresenius SE; adjusted for the effects of mark-to-market accounting of the Mandatory Exchangeable Bonds (MEB) and the Contingent Value Rights (CVR) related to the acquisition of APP Pharmaceuticals. Both are non-cash items.
[3] Adjusted for the effect of mark-to-market accounting of the Mandatory Exchangeable Bonds (MEB) related to the acquisition of APP Pharmaceuticals.
[4] Net income attributable to Fresenius SE; adjusted for the effects of mark-to-market accounting of the Mandatory Exchangeable Bonds (MEB) and the Contingent Value Rights (CVR) related to the acquisition of APP Pharmaceuticals. Both are non-cash items.
[5] Net income attributable to Fresenius SE.
[6] 2010: Does not include a €100 m cash out for a short-term bank deposit by Fresenius Medical Care.

This release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Future results could differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements due to certain factors, e.g. changes in business, economic and competitive conditions, regulatory reforms, results of clinical trials, foreign exchange rate fluctuations, uncertainties in litigation or investigative proceedings, and the availability of financing. Fresenius does not undertake any responsibility to update the forward-looking statements in this release.

Fresenius AG (SE)

Fresenius is a health care group with international operations, providing products and services for dialysis, hospital and outpatient medical care. In 2009, Group sales were approximately €14.2 billion. On September 30, 2010 the Fresenius Group had 136,458 employees worldwide.

For more information visit the company's website at www.fresenius.com.

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