Perrigo appoints Rolf Classon as chairman

Perrigo appoints Rolf Classon as chairman
Rolf Classon has worked for Bayer Diagnostics, Bayer Healthcare and Pharmacia

11 May 2018 - Deborah Wilkes

Perrigo has appointed Rolf Classon to the post of chairman, as the company reported worldwide sales up by 1.9% in the first quarter of 2018.

Classon, who has been a board member since May 2017, has previously worked for Bayer Diagnostics, Bayer Healthcare and Pharmacia. He currently serves on the boards of Fresenius Medical Care and Catalent.

Perrigo's chief executive officer Uwe Röhrhoff said Classon had "extensive leadership experience and broad industry knowledge". He added that the appointment demonstrated Perrigo's commitment to good corporate governance.

Classon replaces Laurie Brlas, who will continue to serve on the board as an independent director.

First-quarter results released

Perrigo, which has struggled in recent years, reported worldwide sales up by 1.9% to USD1.22 billion in the first quarter of 2018. The company said the figures included new product sales of USD41 million and discontinued products of USD8 million.

Excluding portfolio changes and at constant currencies, sales were up by 1.6%.

Röhrhoff said growth had been achieved in "challenging end markets".

Adjusted operating income was up by 9.2% to USD253 million, giving an adjusted operating margin of 20.8%.

Sales at Perrigo's Consumer Healthcare Americas business, which primarily focuses on store-brand products, were up by 3.2% as reported to USD602 million. The rise was 3.0% at constant currencies.

Perrigo said growth had been driven by higher sales in the infant nutrition, analgesics and cough/cold categories, as well as new product sales of USD11 million.

Adjusted operating income was up by 9.6% as reported to USD129 million, giving an adjusted operating margin of 21.4%.

Perrigo's Consumer Healthcare International business – which houses the Omega Pharma branded OTC business acquired in March 2015 – recorded sales up by 7.0% as reported to USD401 million. Sales at constant currencies were down by 4.5%.

Excluding portfolio changes and at constant currencies, sales were up by 1.4%.

Perrigo said the rise had been driven by new product sales of USD20 million, partially offset by lower sales in the cough/cold, personal care and analgesics categories as well as discontinued products of USD6 million.

Prioritising regional brands

Röhrhoff said Perrigo continued to prioritise regional brands that provided the greatest opportunity to drive long-term value.

Adjusted operating income was up by 32.2% as reported to USD68 million, giving an adjusted operating margin of 17.0%. Perrigo noted the margin was 3.2 percentage points higher than the same period a year earlier.

The two consumer healthcare businesses generated 82.4% of Perrigo's total sales in the first quarter of 2018.

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