--Fresenius has confirmed its 2021 guidance as well as targets until 2023
--Net profit declined slightly in the fourth quarter on flat sales
--Fresenius is launching cost-saving measures as a result of the uncertainty prompted by the coronavirus pandemic
By Cecilia Butini
Fresenius SE & Co. on Tuesday confirmed its 2021 guidance as reported in preliminary statements and backed its medium-term goals until 2023 despite the projected impact of the coronavirus pandemic on business.
Net profit at the German healthcare company declined slightly in the fourth quarter of 2020 on mostly flat sales. It posted a profit of 494 million euros ($600.6 million) for the quarter before special items, down from EUR506 million in the previous year, the company said.
Sales came in flat at EUR9.3 billion, Fresenius said.
The figures are within company guidance, Fresenius said, as it had previously reported in a preliminary statement.
For 2021, the company expects a hit from the coronavirus pandemic as previously reported in preliminary statements. It sees sales growth in the low to mid-single digit percentage range and broadly stable net income year-over-year, it said.
For the period from 2020 until 2023, the company said it continues to expect group sales to grow organically with a compounded annual growth rate of 4% to 7%. It expects group net income before special items to increase organically with a compounded annual growth rate of 5% to 9% in the period, Fresenius said.
Fresenius declared a dividend of EUR0.88 a share for 2020, up from EUR0.84 in 2019.
As a result of uncertainty prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, Fresenius is planning to launch cost-saving measures in order to safeguard the confirmed medium-term targets, it said. The company targets yearly cost savings of at least EUR100 million by 2023, after tax and minority interest, it said.
Fresenius Medical Care, the company's dialysis division, reported net income of EUR372 million excluding special items in the fourth quarter, slightly up from EUR368 million the previous year, the company said. This helped Fresenius Medical Care achieve its 2020 targets as previously announced in preliminary results. A dividend proposal for EUR1.34 a share for Fresenius Medical Care is planned for the annual general meeting in May, the company said.
Fourth-quarter earnings were hurt by impairments in the Latin America region, as the company previously reported in preliminary results.
Write to Cecilia Butini at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 23, 2021 02:07 ET (07:07 GMT)Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.