It was smiles all round again at Boehringer Ingelheim’s annual results conference yesterday as the German drugmaker unveiled yet another year of solid sales and enviable growth.

2005 saw the firm take 14th position out of the top global pharmaceutical companies in terms of sales, with revenues rising 17% to 9.5 billion euros. Sales growth was helped by the group’s respiratory drug Spiriva (tiotropium bromide) and its osteoarthritis/ rheumatoid arthritis drug Mobic, which attained their blockbuster badge during the year and become Boehringer’s very first 1 billion-dollar plus drugs. Spiriva notched up and $1.2 billion, while Mobic (meloxicam) turned in $1.1 billion.

Importantly, the company achieved the strongest growth of the top 25 pharmaceutical companies worldwide, with 23% in terms of local growth, almost four times faster than the average 6% recorded by its peers.

“Unlike companies listed on the stock exchange, we are able to plan our business strategy on a truly long-term basis,” Boehringer’s chairman Alessandro Banchi explained to attendees at the meeting. “Our business development is characterised by stability and continuity, which also has a decisive influence on our vibrant corporate culture.”

Predicting low double-digit growth above the market average again for this year, he said that the company will continue to focus on innovation as way forward, and not large-scale company acquisitions. “We do not need to buy sales,” he stated, adding: “We are simply interested in developing innovative products.”

And with operating income rocketing 40% to 2 billion euros, it really does seem like the firm’s well-known stand-alone strategy is working well.