Pharmaceuticals industry posted big sales, profit gains in 2004

Greek pharmaceutical companies recorded a 22 percent rise in profits last year, reaching 310 million euros, with sales totaling 5.8 billion euros, according to a Stat Bank survey. The sector also achieved a 16 percent rise in sales. The 30 biggest enterprises (which do not include Phamar, Pfizer and Lavipharm, as they do not have comparable figures for 2003 and 2004) recorded a total turnover of 2.38 billion euros. On the other hand, loan liabilities to banks increased 14.8 percent, to 1.6 billion euros. Equity capital was worth 630 million euros, from 563 million euros a year earlier. The survey notes that mergers in the sector over the last few years, following international developments, have led to considerable concentration at the top: The 30 biggest companies in Greece by sales control about 80 percent of the market. Among the companies dominating the industry there is a strong Greek presence with firms such as Vianex, the Marinopoulos group and Gerolymatos, with the latter having sales of 119 million euros and pretax profits of 2.7 million euros. Last year was also positive for several domestic medium-sized companies, such as Elpen and Kleva, which prosper in the face of multinational firms and have a strong growth rate. Elpen’s sales reached rose 21.5 percent, to 63 million euros, and Kleva’s turnover reached 14.7 million euros, up 24.5 percent.

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