SIX: SFZN. The Siegfried Group looks back on a successful 2019 financial year. Sales amounted to 833.5 million francs which, compared to the previous year, represents growth of 6.9% in local currencies (LC) and 4.9 percent in Swiss francs. The result is therefore clearly higher than in previous years. Drug substances represent more than three quarters of sales and drug products slightly less than one quarter.
Core EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax and depreciation, and amortization) grew by 11.3 percent to 140.7 million Swiss francs. This corresponds to a core EBITDA margin of 16.9 percent, 1 percentage point above the previous year’s value. Thus, core EBITDA increased disproportionately. Core net profit of 65.7 million francs is also clearly higher than in the previous year (CHF 55.4 million), representing an increase of 18.5 percent. The Board of Directors will recommend to the 2020 Annual General Meeting a distribution to shareholders of 2.80 francs per registered share (previous year: CHF 2.60).
Strong Growth of Exclusive Synthesis
In the drug substances business (+9.0% in LC), especially exclusive synthesis developed very favorably. With regard to portfolio APIs, various special effects led to a slight decline compared to the previous year, particularly affected were drug substances used in pain treatment. Sales of drug products grew marginally compared to the previous year (+0.5% in LC).
Focus on our Global Site Network
Besides robust organic growth, the further expansion of our technological skills was an important focus. In the year under review, the Siegfried Group made investments at several sites that will benefit research & development and operations. At our headquarters in Zofingen, we initiated the construction of an additional multi-purpose plant, which will serve specialized chemical technology and be completed and put into operation in 2020. At the Hameln site, Siegfried worked on increasing capacity and skills required in aseptic filling of biologically produced drug substances and inaugurated new research & development laboratories in July 2019. In Evionnaz, a new micronization plant for pharmaceutical drug substances is currently under construction and will go into operation in 2020. Besides these investments in buildings and facilities, Siegfried started the "Siegfried Academy", which pools and strengthens all of the company’s training and continued education measures for employees at all levels.
Successfully Completed Inspections by Regulatory Authorities
Never before in the history of the company have so many inspections by regulatory authorities been carried out as in the year under review. The US American regulatory authority FDA alone paid Siegfried six visits in 2019. The results were extremely gratifying, and they confirm that Siegfried’s site network meets the highest quality standards. In this connection, the US-FDA inspection in Nantong – the first ever at the site – was particularly positive. It concluded with the rating of “no action indicated”.
Isabelle Welton Proposed for Election to Board of Directors
On the occasion of the Annual General Meeting in April 2020, the Board of Directors will propose Isabelle Welton for election as an additional Board member. Isabelle Welton, who holds a degree in law, runs a consulting company with a focus on corporate culture and change processes. She serves on the boards of directors of NZZ Mediengruppe and Avobis Group and the foundation boards of Swisscontact, SOS Children’s Villages Switzerland and Lucerne Festival. Dr. Andreas Casutt (Chairman), Ulla Schmidt, Colin Bond, Prof. Dr. Wolfram Carius, Reto Garzetti and Dr. Martin Schmid will stand for reelection. Following the transfer of his responsibilities as CEO to his successor, Dr. Wolfgang Wienand, and ten years of successful activity on behalf of Siegfried, Dr. Rudolf Hanko will not stand for reelection.
Despite the insecure market environment owing to the spread of the coronavirus, the Siegfried Group expects sales for the 2020 financial year to increase in the low single-digit percentage range (in local currencies) and a further, moderate improvement of the operating margin (core EBITDA). Siegfried confirms mid-term expectations: growth in line with the market, with the ambition to exceed it (in local currencies). This is to be implemented by means of robust organic growth as well as by acquiring other companies, sites and business.
In view of the insecure situation concerning coronavirus, the Board of Directors decided to schedule a provisional alternate date for the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders currently to take place on 17 April 2020. Should the Meeting of Shareholders be postponed, 26 June 2020 has been scheduled as its substitute date. The Board of Directors will inform shareholders in due time.
Peter Gehler, Chief Communications Officer
Tel. +41 62 746 11 48
Mob. +41 79 416 41 16
Contact Financial Analysts:
Chief Financial Officer
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Siegfried Holding AG
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Tel. +41 62 746 11 11
The Siegfried Group is a global life sciences company with sites in Switzerland, the USA, Malta, China, Germany and France. In 2019, the company achieved sales of 833.5 million Swiss francs and currently employs about 2500 people at nine sites on three continents. Siegfried Holding AG is publicly listed on SIX Swiss Exchange (SIX: SFZN).
Siegfried is active in manufacturing pharmaceutical APIs (and their intermediates) as well as drug products (tablets, capsules, sterile vials, ampoules, and cartridges) for the pharmaceutical industry and provides development services.
Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This media release includes statements concerning the future. They are based on assumptions and expectations that may prove to be wrong. They should be considered with due caution as, by definition, they contain known and unknown risks, insecurities and other factors which could result in a difference in the actual results, financial situation, developments or the success of Siegfried Holding AG or Siegfried Group from the explicit or implicit assumptions made in these statements.