Ibex 35 pharmaceutical Grífols’ President supports the Catalan President’s plans

04.04.2014

Source: CNA

victor_grifols_parets_812d817a1792f8ed20fcc6942ed13257Víctor Grífols, the President and partial owner of the Catalan pharmaceutical company Grífols – which is one of the world leaders for blood-derivate products – has advised the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas to “go ahead” and “do not flinch”, indirectly referring to Catalonia’s self-determination process. At a public event to unveil the enlargement of the multinational’s campus in Parets del Vallès (Greater Barcelona), Víctor Grífols stated: “When an organization – whatever its nature – has a clear goal to reach, a clear idea of which is the direction to follow in the future, it does not have to fear criticism questioning its strategy or raison d’être”. “Firmly and with determination it is possible to go very far, and I also pass this last message on to you, Mr. President”, he added. The Catalan President pointed out that “Grífols is a company that invests in Catalonia and in the United States, it invests in Switzerland, it buys things as important as an entire division of Novartis and it also invests in Spain – in Zaragoza and Bilbao – , which proves that the economies are absolutely intertwined”. Mas was referring to Grífols announcement that they were buying part of Novartis Diagnostics for $1.68 billion. All this “should also be a message for those who send apocalyptic messages that sometimes reach us, messages that do not take into account that, in the end, in economics common sense prevails over any other strategy”, stated Mas. Grífols leads the European market of blood-derivate products and has a particularly strong presence in the US. In fact, according to Wikileaks, the US Government considered it one of the 3 “strategic” assets in Spain, together with Gibraltar Straight and the gas pipeline connecting the Iberian Peninsula with Algeria. Grífols’ turnover in 2013 amounted to €2.75 billion (+ 4.6%) and posted a €345.6 million profit (+35%). The Catalan multinational is one of the 35 companies that form Spain’s stock exchange index Ibex 35.

The pharmaceutical company has built a new plasma fractioning plant in its Parets del Vallès campus, which has 18 buildings where 1,900 people work. The new plant has 4,500 square metres and will allow a doubling of the company’s plasma production in Spain, going from 2.1 million litres to 4.2 million. The project cost €20 million and 70 new workers will be hired. Currently, 81% of Parets’ production is exported to 65 different countries.

A “strategic” company for the US Government

In fact, Víctor Grífols proudly emphasised that in the last 4 years, the company has created 300 new jobs in Spain and “salaries have increased”. Grífols is a Catalan holding specialising in biological pharmaceutical products. Its main business lines are the production of blood-derivate products, clinical diagnosis systems and pharmaceutical specialities for hospital use. The Catalan company is currently the leading company in the whole of Europe in blood-derivate products and the fourth leader at world level. Furthermore, it is particularly present in the United States and China. The company has 13,300 employees, 10,000 of which are based in the US. The Catalan company bought its US competitor Talecris in 2011. The Catalan company has subsidiaries in 25 different countries and its products reach most of the world’s countries. Thanks to Wikileaks, it was known that the United States Department of State considered Grífols one of the three “strategic” assets in Spain, together with Gibraltar Straight and the gas pipeline connecting the Iberian Peninsula with Algeria.

The profits of the Catalan pharmaceutical giant grew in 2013 by 34.6% over the previous year, reaching €345.6 million. The turnover of the company, based in Greater Barcelona, amounted to €2.75 billion, representing a 4.6% increase on 2012 figures. The geographical expansion of the pharmaceutical company has helped mitigate the effects of volatility in currencies, especially between the euro and the dollar. The Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) grew by 9.6% compared to 2012 and stood at €864.6 million, driven by an increase in the sales of plasma proteins and the optimisation of the expenses for raw materials and manufacturing.

Víctors Grífols supports Mas

“When an organization – whatever its nature – has a clear goal to reach, a clear idea of which is the direction to follow in the future, it does not have to fear criticism questioning its strategy or raison d’être“, stated Grífols’ President. “Firmly and with determination it is possible to go very far, and I also pass this last message on to you, Mr. President”, he said. “I know that things are hard for you, but you have a goal. Go ahead, don’t flinch”, Víctor Grífols added, indirectly referring to the self-determination process.

The Catalan President, who was unveiling the multinational’s new facilities, insisted on the idea that “Grífols is a company that invests in Catalonia and in the United States, it invests in Switzerland, it buys things as important as an entire division of Novartis and it also invests in Spain – in Zaragoza and Bilbao –, which proves that the economies are absolutely intertwined”. “This should also be a message for those who send apocalyptic messages that sometimes reach us, messages that do not take into account that, in the end, in economics common sense prevails over any other strategy that could be discussed”, Mas added. “I am saying this just to cool down the situation in order to be able to share a convivial language between us, bearing in mind that, in the end, in the economy, in the right functioning of the economy, we all have a great deal at stake” he concluded.

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