28 January 2022 - Deborah Wilkes
- Boiron to acquire majority stake in personalised cosmetics startup ABBI
- Recent launches in Belgium, France and Italy highlighted
- Worldwide sales up by 2.9% in fourth quarter of 2021
Boiron announces acquisition and highlights product launches, as worldwide sales rise by 2.9% in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The French homeopathy specialist has agreed to acquire a 70% majority stake in personalised cosmetics startup ABBI for EUR1.75 million (USD1.99 million). An earnout might be added depending on ABBI’s performance.
The transaction will take effect no later than 28 February 2022.
Under the terms of the agreement, Boiron will acquire the remaining 30% of ABBI on 30 June 2025 for an amount depending on the startup’s performance.
ABBI describes itself as “the first custom cosmetics brand using artificial intelligence”. The French firm has developed and patented SkanMySkin, an artificial intelligence module for skin diagnosis based on a selfie.
Recent product launches
Announcing its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2021, Boiron highlighted the recent launch in France of Storinyl, a homeopathic syrup traditionally used to treat symptoms of coughs and colds.
The company also drew attention to the recent launches of Osmobiotic Immuno in France, Italy and Belgium. The dietary supplement contains probiotic strains and vitamin D to strengthen the immune system.
In addition, Boiron noted that it had now started distributing Bionorica’s traditional herbal medicine Canephron in France. The distribution deal with Germany’s Bionorica was announced in October 2021 (click here to read the News story).
Financial results released
In the fourth quarter of 2021, Boiron’s worldwide sales increased by 2.9% as reported to EUR148 million.
The rise followed a fall of 8.9% in the same period a year earlier (click here to read the News story).
More than half of Boiron's sales in the fourth quarter of 2021, 51.2%, were generated in its home market of France where they declined by 11.5% to EUR75.6 million.
Homeopathy changes in France
The fall was driven by the delisting of homeopathic medicines from reimbursement in France. The French government cut the reimbursement rate for homeopathic medicines from 30% to 15% from 1 January 2020 and ended reimbursement altogether from 1 January 2021.
These changes to the reimbursement of homeopathic medicines in France – together with the accompanying debate about the pros and cons of such products – have hit Boiron hard in recent years.
By contrast, sales in Europe excluding France were up by 16.1% as reported to EUR40.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2021 (see Figure 1 below).
North America also recorded a rise, with sales up by 40.9% as reported to EUR25.2 million.
Sales in other countries were up by 19.2% as reported to EUR5.8 million.
Looking at product type, Boiron said worldwide sales of Non-Proprietary Homeopathic Medicines had fallen by 20.4% to EUR55.1 million (see Figure 2 below), following the delisting of homeopathic medicines in France.
By contrast, worldwide sales of OTC Specialties rose by 23.8% to EUR91.6 million. Boiron said growth had been driven by sales of COVID-19 tests, particularly in France and Belgium, and new products as well as an increase in sales in the US and Brazil.
Performance in the full year
In the full year of 2021, Boiron’s worldwide sales were down by 11.4% as reported to EUR455 million. The company said the decline had been limited by sales of new products amounting to approximately EUR50 million, a significant portion of which was generated by sales of COVID-19 tests.
Worldwide sales dropped by 41.8% in the first quarter of 2021 but rose by 1.8%, 1.0% and 2.9% respectively in the second, third and fourth quarters of the year.