Despite believing it is “well positioned“ to deal with the worsening economic climate Gerresheimer is predicting six to seven per cent sales growth in 2009, down from over 10 per cent last year.
The Germany-based packaging company is accrediting its successful 2008, which saw operating income rise to €206m ($260m), to the its global outlook and the vitality of the pharma industry.
Axel Herberg, CEO of Gerresheimer, said: “Our strategy of internationalisation and focus is bearing fruit. Even in a phase of worldwide economic downturn, pharmaceutics and life science are still growth markets and, with its broad technology base and worldwide presence, Gerresheimer has a strong position here.”
The strength of the Gerresheimer’s pharmaceutical division was emphasised by the increasing proportion of total sales that the sector accounts for, up three per cent on 2007 to 75 per cent.
In particular the plastic systems division, which includes inhalers, generated over 40 per cent of total sales in 2008. However, the most impressive growth was produced by RTF syringe systems, sales of which increased by 36 per cent in 2008.
Gerresheimer invested in the construction of a third RTF production facility to support this growth, which made up some of the €108m it committed to expansions and new projects in 2008.
Further investments were made in expanding Gerresheimer’s reach into new markets through the acquisitions of Brazil-based Allplas and Spanish company EDP.