Germany’s Schering AG says that its performance in 2004 – when operating profit rose 11% to 761 million euros – means it is well on its way to achieving its goal of an operating margin of 18% in 2006 [[19/04/04b]].

For 2004, the company says that net profit rose 13% to 500 million euros, while sales managed to increase by 2% to 4.9 billion euros, in spite of continued currency fluctuations. However, the star showing was the Yasmin (ethinyl estradiol and drospirenone) contraceptive, which Schering says has propelled it to the top spot in terms of fertility control. Sales of the product surged 56% in 2004, while the firm’s multiple sclerosis offering, Betaferon/Betaseron (interferon beta-1b), climbed 5% and the Mirena intrauterine system increased by some 25%.

And the company is expecting the solid performance to continue into 2005, as it continues to implement its so-called Focus restructuring plan [[15/06/04c]]. “With our FOCUS Initiative we have set the course for longterm and profitable growth. Key to this is the concentration on four strategic business areas, the reshaping of our portfolio and the improvement in productivity. Against this background, we are confident that we shall build on the success of the previous year in 2005,” said Hubertus Erlen, chairman of the firm’s executive board.