Dynamic development thanks to acquisitions and new products
The systematic expansion of the portfolio of products and services expanded the offering for Professionals even further and strengthened this business area’s position in the market.
Net sales development
In the first half of 2021, the “Professionals” business area generated net sales of CHF 88.5 million (+5.4%). CHF 59.6 million (+9.1%) thereof was attributable to “Products & Brands” and CHF 28.9 million (-1.5%) to “Services for Professionals”. Sales in the “Products & Brands” sector, which mainly comprises the business activities of Verfora, were driven by the broadened partnerships with Angelini Pharma and Allergosan in 2020 as well as the Hedoga Group, which was acquired in July 2020. In addition, the popular ointment Vita-Merfen® was relaunched on the market at the end of 2020. Due to the absence of a seasonal flu season, cold remedies suffered a substantial decline in sales, just as travel-related products.
By way of comparison: the consumer healthcare market declined by 3.7% year-on-year (IQVIA, Consumer Health Market Switzerland, first half of 2021, excluding COVID-19 self-tests).
In the “Services for Professionals” sector, the decline in sales at Winconcept and the year-on-year normalisation of sales at Bichsel Laboratory were offset in part by strong sales growth at Medifilm.
Dynamic trend at “Products & Brands”
COVID-19 continued to define the business of “Products & Brands” in the first half of 2021. Sales of products for colds plummeted by over 30%, with some cough medicines down by as much as 70%. The probiotics segment performed well, despite the persistently low footfall in pharmacies: sales of Omni-Biotic® from the Allergosan Institute, which has been part of Verfora’s portfolio since the first quarter of 2020, saw continued strong growth.
The acquisition of Dr. Wild & Co. Ltd.’s range of pharmaceutical products with well-known brands such as Vitamin D3 Wild Oil® and VI-DE 3® in May 2021 has further expanded Verfora’s leading position in the Swiss consumer healthcare market and reinforced its standing as a competent partner in the B2B market. This move has secured Verfora the rights to strong brands and high-potential marketing authorisations that ideally complement the current portfolio. With this acquisition Verfora will establish its own physician field service.
In May 2021, the product Algifor® Dolo Duo was added to the Algifor® range – the first painkiller in Switzerland to combine the active ingredients ibuprofen and paracetamol in one tablet. This new duo of active ingredients therefore acts in two ways to treat mild to moderate pain, for example in joints and ligaments, following injuries or in the back.
Continuing COVID-19 situation affecting sales development
At the Bichsel laboratory, sales returned to a normal level again following the extraordinarily high sales in the previous year. In the first half of 2020 in particular, the Bichsel Group recorded significantly higher demand for infusion and injection solutions, emergency medications and disinfectants due to COVID-19, which stabilised again in the reporting period. The development of Winconcept was also hampered by COVID-19 in the first half of the year.
Increased production capacities at Bichsel
The growth potential in the home care market is reflected in the increasing demand for home care services in the field of clinical nutrition and infusion therapies. In order to be able to also meet future demand, Bichsel increased its capacities with the addition of a new, more modern filling plant for solutions in plastic bottles. This also further improves both efficiency and occupational and product safety.
40 years of Perskindol®
Perskindol® celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2021. This anniversary is being extensively celebrated in the form of great competitions, attractive offers and a strong media presence.
Incidentally, Perskindol® was developed by a Swiss tennis player and businessman. After extensive research, he launched the first Perskindol® product on the market in 1981. In the years that followed, the range of products was constantly expanded and adapted to the needs of customers. In addition to the pain-relieving therapeutic products, a variety of care products are available to support well-being when playing sports and in everyday life.