German company Stada Arzneimittel saw its sales break the billion-euro barrier for the first time last year, a healthy 26% increase that defends management’s assertions that it can continue to operate as an independent company.

Stada, Germany’s third-largest generic drugmaker, has been the subject of takeover speculation as consolidation continues to grip the generic medicines sector, and this has intensified since India’s Dr Reddy’s snapped up Stada’s local rival Betapharm for 480 million euros ($750m) last month.

Product sales at Stada came in at 1.02 billion euros, up from the 814 million euros it recorded in 2004 and marking the tenth year it has posted a sales increase. The company also said that operating profit for 2005 reached 127 million euros, up 45%.

In October 2005, the firm ended its development of the autologous tumor vaccine Reniale, which it had been working on with fellow German company LipoNova, following a meeting with the European Medicines Agency (EMEA), leading to write-offs of around 17 million euros.