The Slovenia Times

Pharma company Krka celebrates 70th anniversary

Pharma company Krka marks its 70th anniversary. Photo: Aleš Kocjan/STA

The Slovenian pharmaceutical company Krka is celebrating its 70th anniversary. A leading generics group, Krka today manufactures over 1,000 products, which are used by more than 100 million people in 70 countries.

"Our products are used to manage all the most common diseases of our time," CEO Jože Colarič told a ceremony, held 70 years to the day since the local authorities made a decision to found the Krka Pharmaceutical Laboratory in Novo Mesto, southeastern Slovenia.

Employing 13,000 people, Krka has been expanding its product portfolio. "We have been introducing new dosage forms and strengths, entering new therapeutic groups and new markets, even the most challenging ones," Colarič said.

"Last year, our first sustainability rating, which ranked us in the top 10% of global pharmaceutical companies, confirmed that we are on the right track," he added.

Krka's scope of production and annual revenue have been constantly growing. Production of tablets and capsules increased from 4.8 billion in 2004 to 16.9 billion in 2023.

Annual revenue increased from €470 million to €1.8 billion, and profit from €65 million to €314 million in the same period.

Many see one of the reasons for stable growth and business in Krka's stable ownership structure, and the fact that the company has only had three directors.

Its founder Boris Andrijanič led the company for more than 30 years until 1985, followed by Miloš Kovačič and Colarič, who took over in 2005.

Individuals from Slovenia are the single biggest group of owners, holding 41%, with a further 6% representing the company's own shares.

The state-run Pension Fund Management, Slovenian Sovereign Holding and the state directly hold a combined 27%.

Two years after it was founded by Andrijanič, at the time the director of the Novo Mesto district pharmacy, the Krka Pharmaceutical Laboratory was renamed Krka Factory of Medicines. A few years later, production was transferred to Ločna on the outskirts of town, where it has remained to this day.

The company's biggest turning point was the decision to start producing generics instead of licensed products.


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