Novo Mesto – Drug maker Krka reported a group net profit of EUR 304.7 million for 2021, a rise of 5% year-on-year, on the back of revenue that rose by 2% to a record EUR 1.57 billion, the Novo Mesto-based company said on Thursday. Chairman of the management board Jože Colarič labelled the preliminary and unaudited results as “excellent”.
He told the press in Novo Mesto that in a year full of challenges, Krka performed successfully and in line with expectations – it saw record sales in all of its regions, except Western Europe, while profitability was at a high level.
The group’s operating profit dropped by 10% to around EUR 353 million and the gross operating profit (EBITDA) by 8% to EUR 462 million.
Its leading region was Eastern Europe, which includes Russia, where sales reached EUR 547.8 million, up 6% and representing 35% of the group’s total.
In Slovenia, the group’s sales increased by 9% to EUR 92.9 million, or 6% of the total revenue.
Investments stood at EUR 66 million, of which EUR 49 million was invested by the parent company.
Most of the funds were spent on modernising technology, and expanding production and R&D capacities, as well as on own production-distribution centres, said Colarič.
He said the most important investment abroad was the Krka-Rus production facility in Istra, north-west of Moscow, which produces more than three quarters of the products sold on the Russian market.
For this year, Krka plans sales at EUR 1.61 billion and a net profit at EUR 300 million, with EUR 130 million earmarked for investment.
One of the key investments this year is a new facility for development and production of pharmaceutical substances in Krško, Sinteza 2, with a number of accompanying facilities, explained Colarič.
The entire investment is valued at EUR 163 million, it will create more than 100 new jobs, while production should be launched between 2014 and 2025, said Colarič, who was last year given another term until the end of 2027.
He said that despite the pandemic, work at Krka, including production and distribution, was uninterrupted as they took a number of preventive measures, including organising vaccination for the staff.
At the end of 2021, the group had just over 11,500 employees, of whom 46% abroad, and some 1,000 agency workers. The plan for 2022 is to increase the workforce by 2%.