Recordati is to acquire Poland's Farma-Projekt, as part of its plans to expand in central and eastern Europe.

The Italian drugmaker is paying 71.0 million zloty (about 17.3 million euros) to get hold of the Krakow-headquartered company which has been in operation since 2003. It mainly markets cardiovascular and urological treatments as well as dietary supplements and employs around 135 staff, 84 of which are in sales and marketing. Turnover last year reached about 47 million zloty.

Chief executive Giovanni Recordati said the acquisition of Farma-Projekt is "another step forward in our strategy to increase our business in the central and eastern European markets which are growing at interesting rates”. He noted that the Polish pharmaceutical market is the second largest in the area and in the last five years has been growing at an average annual rate of 6.8%. "In particular, the market for self-medication products has grown at an average rate of 11.2% per year", he concluded.

Recordati is already present in Poland, having set up a subsidiary in 2011. The transaction is set to close before the end of the year, subject to conditions.

News of the acquisition comes a week after Recordati posted revenues of 419.9 million euros for the first six months of 2012, a rise of 4.7%. Net income edged up 1.5% to 63.3 million euros, helped by strong performances in Turkey and Russia.