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Fresenius sees 15% sales bump in 2017; probing Akorn FDA data integrity breach

Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA, parent group of a range of healthcare companies, saw revenue grow 15% in 2017, reaching €33.89 billion over the course of the year.

In the fourth quarter alone, the German hospital operator and drugmaker reported revenue of nearly €8.70 billion, an actual rate increase of 11%. Adjusted group net income rose to €520 million from €442 million and adjusted EPS rose to 93 euro cents per share from 81 euro cents per share in the year-ago period.

For the full year, adjusted group net income rose to €1.86 billion, or €3.35 per share, from €1.56 billion, or €2.85 per share, in 2016.

In 2018, the company projects sales growth of 5% to 8% at a constant currency rates, and net income growth of 6% to 9% in constant currency. Excluding expenditures for the further development of the biosimilars business, net income is expected to grow by 10% to 13% in constant currency.

The company also announced it is conducting an independent investigation into a potential FDA data integrity breach at Akorn Inc., a $4.3 billion acquisition target for its generic drug unit Fresenius Kabi. The deal may be affected if the closing conditions of the merger agreement are not met, Fresenius stated, adding that it will not provide updates during the investigation.

Fresenius launched more than 90 new generic drugs over the year and treated 17 million patients in its hospital network, CEO Stephan Sturm said in a statement. Fresenius Kabi hit sales of €1.59 billion in the quarter and €6.36 billion over the year, while Fresenius SE's private hospital operator, Fresenius Helios, saw net income rise 42% in the fourth quarter to €202 million.

Another business, Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGAA, reported adjusted net income of €1.20 billion for 2017. As of June 30, 2017, Fresenius SE owns 30.81% of Fresenius Medical Care, a provider of dialysis services and kidney care products.

The parent company said that based on the strong financial results, it raised its dividend by 21% to 75 euro cents per share, up from 62 euro cents in 2016.