Boehringer Ingelheim has posted a double-digit rise in sales for the financial year 2012 and expects growth to continue in the current year, but operating income plummeted 18%.

The German drugmaker said this morning that net sales jumped 11.5% (6.3% at CER) to 14.7 billion euros for the year, with revenues from Human Pharmaceuticals rising 12% to 13.1 billion euros.

Its oral anticoagulant Pradaxa (dabigatran) was the fastest growing medication, rocketing 76.2% to more than 1 billion euros, while Spiriva (tiotropium) kept its position at the top with sales of 3.6 billion euros, up 13% from 2011.

Sales of over-the-counter medicines unit grew a further 7.8% to around €1.5 billion, while turnover from its Animal Health division overshot the 1 billion euro-mark for the first time, after climbing 8.8%

Regionally, sales grew by 8.7% in Germany, by 15.3% in Japan and by 15.1% in the USA, but the group noted that the market situation in Europe "remains difficult, especially in France and Southern Europe, and is not expected to change in the years ahead".

Also on a negative note, the company posted operating income of around 1.85 billion euros, marking a fall of 18% from 2011 as results were hit by one-off effects as well as by large investments in R&D (+11% to 2.8 billion euros) to secure future growth.

For the current financial year, BI said it expects to continue growth and is expecting a mid-single-digit increase in sales, helped by the market launch of a new medication for the treatment of lung cancer. 

A full analysis of results will be published by our reporter on location at BI's press conference in Germany.