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Management report - “Products & Care” segment

“Products & Care” segment

Management report

The “Products & Care” segment comprises the “Retail” business area with offerings for patients and end customers (B2C) and the “Professionals” business area with offerings for business customers and partners in the healthcare industry (B2B).


The “Retail” business area comprises the two areas “Local Pharmacies” (POS) and “Pharmacies at Home” (mail-order and home care), while the “Professionals” business area consists of the “Products & Brands” and “Services for Professionals” areas. Both business areas focus on the development, marketing and sale of healthcare services and products through the various Galenica distribution channels. Depending on their needs, end customers (B2C) can benefit from their own bricks-and-mortar pharmacies, home care services, mail-order pharmacies and online shops. Galenica also supports healthcare providers (B2B) such as pharmacies, drugstores, doctors, care homes, hospitals and home care organisations as a strong partner.


“Products & Care” segment key figures

The “Products & Care” segment achieved net sales of CHF 2,029.6 million (+6.4%) in the 2022 financial year. Of this, CHF 1,806.6 million (+5.0%) was accounted for by the “Retail” business area (B2C), with the “Local Pharmacies” sector contributing CHF 1,286.9 million (+2.0%, excluding Coop Vitality) and the “Pharmacies at Home” sector accounting for CHF 519.9 million (+13.3%). Adjusted for additional sales in connection with COVID-19, which were exceptionally high in the previous year, sales growth for “Local Pharmacies” amounted to 6.3%.

The “Professionals” (B2B) business area increased sales to CHF 228.8 million (+17.9%), with the “Products & Brands” sector contributing CHF 157.7 million (+19.8%) and the “Services for Professionals” sector adding CHF 71.1 (+13.9%).

The adjusted¹ operating result (EBIT), i.e. excluding the impact of the IFRS 16 (Leases) accounting standard, fell by 0.6% to CHF 153.5 million in the 2022 financial year and the adjusted¹ return on sales (ROS) fell from 8.1% to 7.6%. Excluding the extraordinary results from the COVID-19 initiatives (estimated at CHF 19 million), adjusted¹ EBIT growth amounted to a strong 13.3%.

Investments in the “Products & Care” segment amounted to CHF 15.5 million (previous year: CHF 23.5 million). They were mainly used for pharmacy renovations.

1) Excluding the effects of IFRS 16. See chapter “Alternative performance measures”.


Sustainable generic substitution rate

Due to lower generics prices, the generics substitution promoted by Galenica curbed sales. Compared to the previous year, it increased by 1.3 percentage points to 74.8% at the end of 2022. As a result, Galenica’s contribution to reducing price hikes in the Swiss healthcare system will continue to make an impact in the long term.

“Retail” business area (B2C)

Local Pharmacies

In the 2022 financial year, the “Local Pharmacies” sector achieved net sales of CHF 1,286.9 million (+2.0%, excluding Coop Vitality). Adjusted for additional sales in connection with COVID-19, which were exceptionally high in the previous year, sales growth for “Local Pharmacies” amounted to 6.3%. In addition, government-ordered price reductions led to a decline in sales of -1.3% in 2022. Without this impact, net sales in the “Local Pharmacies” sector would have increased by 3.3%.

By way of comparison, drug sales from bricks-and-mortar pharmacies in Switzerland (prescription [Rx] and OTC products) grew by 8.0% in the reporting year (IQVIA, Pharmaceutical Market Switzerland, 2022).


High-frequency locations almost back to pre-coronavirus level

While flu and colds were almost entirely absent in winter 2020/2021 due to coronavirus-related distancing and hygiene measures, the flu epidemic in winter 2021/2022 was back at a higher level as in the previous year and led to strong sales growth in OTC cold medication, enhanced by the heavy and early onset of the 2022/2023 flu epidemic as well as by many cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant. Demand for make-up products increased significantly after people stopped wearing protective masks. Pharmacy sales at high-frequency locations continued to recover and at the end of 2022, they were only 8% lower than in the comparable pre-coronavirus period in 2019. However, the absence of tourists, particularly from Asia, and the continuing low use of public transport is noticeable in terms of revenue. By contrast, the exceptionally beautiful and hot summer months led to peak sales of sunscreen and similar products in the year under review.

Recognised and increasing importance of pharmacies in the Swiss healthcare system

In 2022, around 4,900 highly qualified employees in over 368 Galenica pharmacies throughout Switzerland proved to be valued and competent points of contact for questions relating to health and well-being. The further growth in the area of service-related and advisory offerings for particularly common ailments proves that their skills are valued and used for low-threshold healthcare provision: while around 76,000 customers turned to the pharmacy for a simple medical examination and treatment recommendation in 2021, this figure was already over 121,000 – an increase of 60% – in the year under review. And without an appointment and six to seven days a week. Since 2022, two leading health insurers, CSS and SWICA, have been remunerating pharmacies for their services under an insurance model, and since 1 January 2023, Groupe Mutuel has even been remunerating additional services under a new model. Discussions with other health insurers are ongoing. Easy access is also key to another pharmacy service that is increasingly relevant to the population: vaccination. Vaccinations against COVID-19 and the flu, tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) and herpes zoster are now available in over 300 Galenica pharmacies and are in high demand. The noticeable strengthening of the role of pharmacies is due in no small part to the continuous expansion of the specialist skills of the staff. In the reporting year, Galenica once again attached great importance to the training and education of its employees.


Acquisition of three pharmacies in French-speaking Switzerland

In the reporting year, the “Local Pharmacies” segment strengthened its foothold in French-speaking Switzerland: three excellently positioned pharmacies in Geneva are now part of the pharmacy network comprising 368 locations. Another new addition is Bahnhof Apotheke Langnau in Emmental (canton of Bern), which offers formulations for medical cannabis preparations (see section “Pharmacies at Home”).

In 2022, four pharmacies were acquired and three new locations were opened. At the same time, seven locations were closed down as part of optimisation measures. At the end of 2022, the network of Galenica’s own pharmacies comprised a total of 368 locations (+/-0).





Amavita pharmacies 1)




Sun Store pharmacies 1)



Coop Vitality pharmacies 2)




Specialty pharmacy Mediservice 1)



Majority holdings in other pharmacies 1)




Total own points of sale



1) Fully consolidated

2) Consolidated at equity

Further development and linking of digital and bricks-and-mortar sales channels

The further development of all channels for the benefit of customers and the simultaneous linking of bricks-and-mortar sales outlets with digital offerings were also strategically important in the reporting year. Measures from the omni-channel strategic programme included investments in the visibility of the Amavita, Sun Store and Coop Vitality online shops in search engines, as well as further renovations and modernisation of bricks-and-mortar pharmacies. By investing in the Well digital healthcare platform, Galenica also invested early in new digital offerings to improve the customer experience. The Well-App not only gives customers access to digital services such as symptom checks for health concerns, but also gives them easy access to Galenica’s offerings. For example, as a first step the booking of vaccination appointments at a pharmacy was integrated. Galenica will continue to seize opportunities and launch customer-focused offerings in the dynamic market for digital healthcare offerings.


Pharmacies at Home

The “Pharmacies at Home” sector achieved extraordinarily strong growth with sales of CHF 519.9 million (+13.3%). This strong performance was driven in particular by the specialty pharmacy Mediservice, which offers new medications to treat rare diseases in combination with home-care services.

Government-ordered price reductions led to a decline in sales of 3.7% in 2022. Without this impact, net sales in the “Pharmacies at Home” sector would have increased by 17.1%.

By way of comparison, sales of medications from mail-order pharmacies in Switzerland (prescription [Rx] and OTC products) grew by 6.6% in the reporting year (IQVIA, Pharmaceutical Market Switzerland, 2022).


Mediservice specialty pharmacy as a sales driver

The Mediservice specialty pharmacy, which looks after people with chronic and rare diseases, remains a major sales driver for the “Pharmacies at Home” segment. In the reporting year, patients were able to rely on the experience of the Mediservice team across a total of around 90 complex forms of therapy for more than 60 main indications – including five new ones. Mediservice is constantly expanding its expertise with new services – including in the home care sector. Mediservice is further developing its digital offerings and not only offers personal care at home, but also via telephone, video or digital tools to increase patient adherence.

Home care specialist Bichsel also makes a significant contribution to the quality of life of many patients: the company specialises in artificial nutrition and intravenous antibiotic and pain therapies. In the reporting year, the home care offering of two Amavita pharmacies in the Basel region was transferred to the Bichsel organisation.

Portfolio expansion with great potential

With Bahnhof Apotheke Langnau in Emmental, Galenica has also acquired Cannaplant, the leading provider of formulations for medical cannabis products. This enables Galenica to offer many patients and doctors valuable treatments. Medical cannabis therapy can be an important treatment alternative, especially for seriously ill people.

Safe access to cannabis treatments

With effect from 1 August 2022, the ban on cannabis for medical purposes in the Narcotics Act (NarcA) was lifted. Doctors no longer need a special licence to prescribe cannabis. In addition, a patient no longer needs to have exhausted all treatment options before cannabis can be prescribed. As a result, the active substance is likely to find its way into the standard therapy set of doctors and to be increasingly in demand by patients. According to estimates, around 100,000 people in Switzerland use cannabis as medication. Due to the legal restrictions on access, it was usually necessary to resort to procurement on the black market – which brought with it considerable health risks. Thanks to the change in the law, medical cannabis can now be prescribed in the same way as other medications or narcotics.

New infrastructure for online shops

In the reporting year, sales in the online shops for the Amavita, Sun Store and Coop Vitality pharmacy formats declined. This is primarily due to the fact that sales in the online shops are returning to normal after two years of very high sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the online shops will switch to a new technical infrastructure in 2023 and be supplemented by a new customer loyalty programme. This is why no major marketing investments were made in the existing online shops in 2022.

Sale of Careproduct

In the 2022 financial year, Galenica sold its subsidiary Careproduct. Careproduct is a supplier of medical accessories and aids such as wheelchairs. Contrary to original expectations, the integration of Careproduct’s products and service offerings did not lead to sufficient synergy potential. The loss of Careproduct’s contributions has only a minimal impact on sales in the “Pharmacies at Home” segment.


“Professionals” business area (B2B)

Products & Brands

The “Products & Brands” sector generated sales of CHF 157.7 million (+19.8%) in the 2022 financial year. Of this, CHF 131.0 million (+25.8%) came from the Swiss market and CHF 26.7 million (-2.8%) from exports involving distribution partners. The expansion-related growth effect at Products & Brands amounted to +6.7% in 2022.

By way of comparison, the consumer healthcare market grew by 6.4% year-on-year (IQVIA, Consumer Health Market Switzerland, 2022, excluding COVID-19 self-tests).

Excellent positioning of Verfora

Verfora expanded its product portfolio also in the 2022 financial year: as of 1 October 2022, the company took over the distribution of homeopathic products from the manufacturer Boiron in Switzerland. The Boiron range perfectly complements the existing complementary medicine portfolio of Verfora and Spagyros. Verfora, the number one in the Swiss consumer health market, is therefore excellently placed to assume a leading market position in the field of complementary medicine. The positive development of the complementary medicine specialist Spagyros and its strong brands, which meet with a great response in Galenica’s sales channels, also contributed to this. Demand for Dr. Wild products also remains stable, although demand for vitamin D3 supplements was slightly lower than in the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021.


Pleasing organic growth

Verfora is not only growing thanks to acquisitions, but also organically: a strong flu epidemic, a warm and sunny summer and several innovative product launches – for example in the area of disinfection – contributed to the sales growth of numerous Verfora brands such as Triofan®, Algifor® or Anti-Brumm® and Merfen®.

Challenging delivery problems at times

The “Products & Brands” segment was also affected by the global delivery difficulties. Supply bottlenecks in the procurement of raw materials, but also materials such as glass bottles and paper for package inserts, were sometimes difficult and led to occasional declines in sales.


Services for Professionals

The “Services for Professionals” sector generated sales of CHF 71.1 million (+13.9%) in the 2022 financial year. Growth was generated in particular by the acquisition of Lifestage Solutions Ltd. in July 2021.


High demand for innovative offerings

The “Services for Professionals” segment can look back on an eventful and successful financial year in 2022. In the first half of 2022, Galenica and Medicall founded the joint venture Emeda, which aims to provide medical and pharmaceutical care to retirement and nursing homes in Switzerland. The Emeda team consists of mobile doctors who specialise in outpatient geriatric medical care for people in nursing homes. This creates significant synergy potential: Emeda has access to the full range of Galenica offerings, such as blister packaging by Medifilm. Lifestage Solutions Ltd., which was acquired in 2021, is also an important partner for retirement and nursing homes and home care organisations. The company sells medical consumables and supports its customers with a digital platform for the fully automated ordering and billing of consumables and care products. In the 2022 financial year, Lifestage Solutions Ltd. expanded into French-speaking Switzerland. Medifilm, a company specialising in blister packaging for medications, is also growing. Medifilm is benefiting, among other things, from an increased demand due to time pressure and staff shortage in care homes and, together with the supporting pharmacies, was able to acquire around 50 additional institutions.

Winconcept attracts new customers

Another highlight in this area is the steady expansion of Winconcept’s customer base. The Winconcept team specialises in marketing activities for independent pharmacies and has been supporting more than 170 pharmacies throughout Switzerland since the start of 2023. Also worthy mentioning is the strategic partnership with Medinform – Galenica acquired a 50% stake as of July 2022. Medinform is the leading provider of education for staff in pharmacies and drugstores. This allows Galenica to support its employees even better in their professional development.

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