Prof. Dr. Heinz-Walter Große, Chairman of the Management Board
Otto Philipp Braun, Head of the OPM Division and Region Iberian Peninsula and Latin America
Prof. Dr. Hanns-Peter Knaebel, Head of the Aesculap Division
Dr. Meinrad Lugan, Head of the Hospital Care Division
Caroll H. Neubauer LL.M., Head of the North American Region
Markus Strotmann, Head of the Avitum Division
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 55,719
GLOBAL HEADQUARTERS: Melsungen, Germany
Among the other Top 30 companies in this year’s list, B. Braun maintains one aspect that keeps it somewhat unique—it’s still a family-owned business. The 176-year-old firm has maintained a long history with six generations of family members leading the company to continued success to become one of the largest medical device manufacturers in the world. Further, all indications point to the company staying the course in terms of remaining a family-owned business. Even the introduction to the annual company report highlights B. Braun’s medical device offerings through the presentation of Ole, a family man from Munich, Germany. Throughout his life, Ole has relied on medical technologies like those the company offers, from wound care products for his sports injuries to spinal surgery solutions for an inevitable procedure that he’ll need at some point.
B. Braun is built on four distinct product group divisions:
Hospital Care—Infusion equipment and supplies, infusion and injection solutions, intravenous catheters, products for clinical nutrition, as well as pumps and their associated systems.
Aesculap—General surgery, joint prosthetics in orthopedics, neurosurgery, laparoscopy, interventional vascular diagnostics and treatment, surgery for degenerative spine diseases, and cardiac and thoracic surgery.
OPM (out patient market)—Hygiene, diabetes, incontinence, stoma, and wound management.
Avitum—Hemodialysis, acute dialysis, and apheresis, as well as products and services along the entire dialysis value chain.
As of the close of 2015, B. Braun offered more than 5,000 products and 120,000 SKUs, as well as services for 18 therapy fields and applications. In preparation to hold a leading position in the industry (and a place on this annual list), the company continues to plan for the future and invest in what the needs of healthcare will require tomorrow.
“In its 176-year history, B. Braun has always been preparing for the future by setting the right course early on. This is also how we have approached today’s buzzword, ‘digitization.’ Ten years ago we introduced a fully IT-supported production with our LIFE factory for standard IV solutions. And we plan to continue to capitalize on synergies and develop new potential by harmonizing global processes,” said Prof. Dr. Heinz-Walter Große, chairman of the management board in his forward in the company’s 2015 annual report.
On the whole, the company had a favorable year in 2015, seeing an increase of 12.9 percent over 2014 with 6.13 billion euros in sales. That continued an ongoing trend over the previous four years of consistent growth through rising sales. “We are very satisfied with the economic development of the last fiscal year. We are above the forecasted corridor for sales growth and have also significantly improved operating profit,” Prof. Große said during the financial statement press conference.
That good fortune carried over to all four major company divisions, each posting double-digit percentage gains over 2014. The company’s largest division (46.6 percent of total sales), Hospital Care saw a 13 percent increase with 2.86 billion euros in sales. Seeing strongest sales in surgical instruments and endoscopy products, the Aesculap division (27.1 percent of total sales) celebrated an 11 percent increase over prior year, with sales of 1.66 billion euros. The OPM division (12.1 percent of total sales) enjoyed the highest percentage growth, up 15 percent over 2014 with sales of 741 million euros. Just shy of that percentage increase, Avitum (13.8 percent of total sales) grew 14.7 percent with sales of 846 million euros.
Looking at the worldwide marketplace for the company’s products, sales in Europe were significantly greater, encompassing almost 50 percent of total sales. Germany alone accounted for 16.9 percent of the company’s revenue, with the rest of Europe tallying 32.6 percent. Both percentages, however, were down from 2014 in terms of total company sales, giving way to an increased percentage in North America, which accounted for 23.3 percent of total sales, and Asia-Pacific, which came in at 17.5 percent of the total sales. Latin America (6.4 percent) and Africa/Middle East (3.3 percent) rounded out the company’s worldwide sales picture.
“Our goal is to grow our revenues by 5 to 7 percent annually and to exceed sales of 8 billion euros by the year 2020. We are all engaged and committed to this goal,” said Prof. Große. With this vision in mind, the company invested more than 1 billion euros in new production sites and research and development projects in 2015. Germany saw the lion’s share of this spend, accounting for 48.7 percent of the total. The actual research and development investment in 2015 was 262.4 million euros, up from 2014 (228.8 million euros).
Meanwhile, prior investments saw fruition in 2015 with a number of products gaining regulatory approval or clearance. Of note were the following:
- U.S. approval of a new Space infusion pump software generation, which makes wireless communication to each individual pump possible.
- Introduction of a self-expanding VascuFlex stent made of nitinol.
- Novosyn Quick expanded the company’s portfolio of resorbable suture materials.
- The intervertebral implant TSPACE XP became available as a third-generation product.